Construction activities in Andermatt continue to be environmentally compatible
The environmental requirements for the construction activities in Andermatt Reuss are being properly fulfilled. This is shown by inspections carried out in the zone containing the apartment buildings that are under construction. Environmental impact monitoring ensures that environmental requirements are being complied with during construction work in Andermatt Reuss. The Expert Commission for Ecology coordinates the measures to protect flora and fauna at the Andermatt Golf Course.
Since the start of construction work in 2009, Dr Beat Hodel of the company Basler and Hofmann has been acting as environmental impact monitor for Andermatt Reuss on behalf of Andermatt Swiss Alps AG. The monitoring is being conducted in accordance with specifications approved by the Office for Environmental Protection of the Canton of Uri. For this purpose, six on-site inspections were carried out in 2020. Annual reporting covers the ecological benefits in connection with operation of the golf course, as well as the environmental impact and measures associated with construction activities.
Emission control and measurements
The technical condition of the machinery and vehicles being used was checked in order to prevent excessive emissions. Diesel-powered equipment with engine output of more than 18 kilowatts is required to be outfitted with inspected particle filter systems. Nitrogen dioxide emissions are continuously measured, even where there is no established link to the construction activities in Andermatt. It was interesting to note that the coronavirus lockdown in the spring of 2020 had a positive impact on air quality, with the lowest nitrogen oxide levels being recorded since measurements began to be taken.
Water pollution control
With respect to water pollution control, it is important to prevent alkaline waste water from making its way from the construction sites to the surface water. In 2020 this was ensured by means of neutralisation in closed systems. Thus, no waste water from the construction sites was discharged into the Reuss River or the Dürstelenbach.
In September 2020, the Andermatt Swiss Alps Golf Course was one of the first Swiss golf courses to receive certification by the Golf Environmental Organization (GEO). In awarding the globally recognised certification, GEO considers ecological and economic aspects: on the one hand, the entire ecosystem, with its flora and fauna; on the other, management and cultivation of the course. With GEO certification, the Andermatt Swiss Alps Golf Course reached a significant milestone in the area of sustainability.
Measures to protect flora and fauna
In its report Birdlife at the Andermatt Golf Course 2019 (German only), the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach recommended more perches for whinchats. The measure is being implemented as part of the interconnection project Ursern Valley 2. As an additional ecological enhancement, it is planned to remove the bridge over the Bäzgraben in order to reduce visitor pressure in the Bäz nature conservation area.
In order to prevent extensive areas of the golf course from becoming overgrown with green alder, a roving herd of goats made a stop in Andermatt (project of Pro Natura and the Cantons of Uri and Grisons). The goats ate the alder, which allowed species diversity to remain intact, and the fairways and greens continue to border on wild meadows with numerous rare plants, butterflies, and grasshoppers.
Insects, particularly dragonflies and butterflies, are significant indicators of biodiversity and thus of the ecological value of nature conservation areas. Therefore, plans call for butterflies to be monitored in 2021.
Andermatt Swiss Alps AG
Andermatt Swiss Alps AG, with registered office in Andermatt, plans, builds, and develops the year-round destination of Andermatt. In 2009 Andermatt Reuss came into being, with apartment buildings, hotels, and chalets. The Andermatt Swiss Alps Group also owns Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG with its cableways, the catering brand Mountain Food, the Swiss Snowsports School Andermatt, an 18-hole, par-72 championship golf course, and the Andermatt Concert Hall. With the hotels, the sports infrastructure, the wide range of events on offer, and the properties, Andermatt Swiss Alps is pursuing the vision of becoming the “prime Alpine destination”. In doing so, it is committed to an intact environment and a sustainable future that will enable coming generations to have an extraordinary home. During high season, the Andermatt Swiss Alps Group has more than 1,000 employees working at the locations in Altdorf, Andermatt and Sedrun.