New report calls for ban on "polluting" winter sports sponsors, revealing their devastating impact on snow

Man performing a Backflip Ski Jump
The Badvertising report calculates the emissions of seven major winter sports sports to determine how much snow melt they're responsible for (Image credit: coberschneider)

A new report has calculated the carbon emissions of seven of the top winter sports sponsors to estimate how much snow they are responsible for melting – and it's a lot. The Dirty Snow Report by Badvertising was released to coincide with the Alpine World Cup Finals, and calls for an immediate end to polluting sponsorship deals.

The report examines the carbon emissions of Audi, the official sponsor of the Alpine World Cup, as well as Ford, SAS, Equinor, Aker, Volvo and Preem. Their figures reveal that combined, the emissions of these seven companies would contribute to global warming to the extent that they would melt an area of 1,968 square kilometers of spring snow each year. That's 437 times larger than the skiing area of Åre in Sweden, a potential bidder for the 2030 Winter Olympics.

The impact of global warming on winter sports has been widely discussed in recent years, with the most catastrophic predictions saying that by the end of the century, the ski season at mid-latitudes in the northern hemisphere will last a single month. So it's a major conflict that so many winter sports events are sponsored by high-emissions companies, whose behavior will accelerate global warming and melt the very snow those sports depend on. Already, nine of the planned Alpine Ski World Cup races have been canceled this year due to conditions.

According to the report, a single fossil fuel sponsorship deal can generate up to 220 lbs (100 kg) of CO2 emissions for every euro of sponsorship. By those estimates, Audi's sponsorship deal could generate between 103,000 – 144,000 tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to burning between 238,000 and 333,000 barrels of oil, according to the EPA.

Fossil fuel sponsors tend to be drawn to winter sports because fans tend to have fewer negative attitudes towards them, as compared to other sports like football and the UTMB. However, this report aims to change that attitude and try to protect our winters through fossil-free sponsorships. You can read the full report here and learn more about being a more sustainable skier to keep your ski seasons epic.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.