Water, a precious resource
A natural treatment plant to produce drinking water
IValberg's water treatment plant, inaugurated in 2011, uses the latest technology to produce drinking water – ultrafiltration. Water flowing down from Mont Mounier, in the heart of the Mercantour mountains, is filtered through membranes to obtain very high quality drinking water with no taste nor smell, and without adding any chemicals. This plant enables Valberg to secure its mains water supply.
Modern, efficient network of artificial snow makers
Around 400 artificial snow makers ensure snow cover is guaranteed over about 85% of the ski area. The artificial snow-making plant gets its water supply from 3 reservoirs with a total capacity of 260,000 m3. Particular attention is paid to detecting leaks (water and compressed air) in the network, in order to reduce resource consumption to a minimum.
Working towards reducing power consumption
Valberg – Signed up to the EcoWatt scheme
EcoWatt is an alert system aimed at encouraging individuals, institutions and companies to reduce electricity usage during cold snaps, especially between 6 and 8 pm. EcoWatt aims to help prevent power cuts during peak consumption periods.
Valberg is taking part in the scheme and commits to informing the public in case of an alert, using multiple media (text messaging, social networks, website, posters, radio, etc). Messages also give information about good practice for saving energy (turning down the heating thermostat, switching off electrical devices instead of leaving them in standby mode, unplugging chargers, etc).
For information and advice see www.ecowatt-paca.fr
Optimising street lighting
All the resort's outdoor lights are fitted with the more energy-efficient LED light bulbs. What's more, to optimise electricity consumption, street lighting in the resort is run from an automatic programmer. From midnight to 6 am every night, lighting in outlying areas is switched off (except for main roads) and the intensity of the lighting in the centre is lowered by about 30%.
Retrofitting and High Environmental Quality for buildings
Valberg's childcare centre Les P'tits Poucets meets the energy-efficiency standards of Haute Qualité Environnementale (HQE, High Environmental Quality). Its efficient insulation, geothermal ground loop system with a linked heat pump, and solar water heater combine to make the building very low energy. A wood-shingled roof adds the finishing touch, helping the building blend perfectly into the landscape.
The village school had its insulation renovated in 2011 and an air-to-water heat pump installed, leading to a reduction in heating oil consumption. In 2014 the Police Station had its insulation renewed to make the building more energy-efficient.
Valberg saw its efforts to reduce the resort's power consumption rewarded in 2013 when it was awarded the Climat Energie trophy at the annual Alpes Maritimes 'Plan Climat Energie' Forum.
Similarly, a proactive approach to reducing light pollution led to the Péone-Valberg locality gaining 'Village Etoilé' (Starry Village) status, an award by France's national association for protecting the sky and the environment (ANPCEN, Association Nationale pour la Protection du Ciel et de l'Environnement - www.anpcen.fr).
Efficient waste management for a clean mountain environment
Waste sorting set up
Waste collection in Valberg is managed by the Alpes Azur Communauté de Communes (local authority). Waste is sorted into three categories: packaging and paper (recyclable), glass (recyclable) and household waste (non-recyclable). They are collected at a large number of residents' drop-off points located across the resort.
Valberg's commitment to improve waste sorting can also be seen in its efforts to provide recycling facilities for specific waste. The waste sorting collection point at the Tourist Office provides facilities for dropping off:
- Light bulbs and recyclable neon tubes
- Ink cartridges
- Pens and writing instruments
- Plastic bottle lids
There are also two collection points for clothing and footwear (in the school car park and in the sports club car park).
Let's keep our mountain clean
The resort gives out pocket ash trays every summer and every winter. This initiative – supported by Valberg's Syndicat Intercommunal, the French Ski School (ESF) in Valberg, and the company that operates the ski lifts – aims to raise awareness among visitors of how fragile this natural environment is, while reducing the amount of cigarette butts thrown on the ground in the villages and the surrounding mountains.
These ashtrays are available at the Tourist Office, from the ski lift ticket desks, and at the ESF Ski School office.