Xanterra Awarded By National Park Service For Environmental Achievements In Yellowstone And Petrified Forest National Parks
Xanterra Parks & Resorts’ operations in Yellowstone and Petrified Forest National Parks have received Environmental Achievement (EA) awards from the National Park Service (NPS). Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hotel Dining Room was recognized as a winner, and Petrified Forest’s free e-waste recycling service received an honorable mention.
According to NPS, these awards are presented to “teams (units, groups of NPS employees, or a combination of NPS and non-NPS personnel) and partners (concessioners, contractors and cooperating associations) who demonstrate exceptional accomplishments toward the overall goal of preservation and protection of the resources under our stewardship.”
“I salute our Xanterra employees in Yellowstone and Petrified Forest National Parks for their commitment to the environment,” said Andrew N. Todd, president and CEO of Xanterra. “This is consistent with our core value, ‘Protect the environment. This is vital and part of everyone’s job.’”
In Yellowstone National Park, the Mammoth Hotel Dining Room received a three-star certification from the Green Restaurant Association (GRA). This facility is the first three-star certified restaurant in Wyoming and one of only 71 in the country at the time of its certification. To obtain this rating, Xanterra focused on energy and water conservation, sustainable cuisine, waste management and disposables, green cleaning products and green building techniques. Certified restaurants must show continual improvement and receive additional points each year to maintain their status.
A key component of the company’s foodservice operations has been purchasing food from local and/or sustainable sources. Since the program began in 2006, the amount of food from such sources has grown to nearly one-third of the company’s total food expenditures.
In Yellowstone, Xanterra has also focused on energy use reduction, waste management and disposables, cleaning products and green building techniques. Specific initiatives include the in-house development of a system to offset diesel use in boilers by burning waste vegetable oil, a lighting retrofit including re-lamping existing incandescent bulbs in the seating area of the dining room with more than 300 energy efficient LED lamps, installation of ENERGY STAR-qualified low-e windows, 100 percent renewable energy offsets, recycling and composting programs and using the latest in green building techniques, and installation of water-saving fixtures.
In Petrified Forest National Park, the Xanterra team partnered with NPS to create a free e-waste recycling service for residents of the park and surrounding communities, including the Navajo Nation. Local residents and businesses surrounding the park were encouraged to drop off their e-waste at Gillespie Park located in Holbrook, Arizona. Participants from Holbrook and the surrounding area brought in 11,820 pounds of e-waste, and an area school district contributed 35,454 pounds of discarded electronics for a total of 47,274 pounds in a single event. By offering the community innovative strategies for responsible disposal of e-waste, NPS and Xanterra Parks & Resorts took a leadership role in addressing pollution prevention.
These NPS Achievement Awards are just the latest for Xanterra. NPS has previously recognized operations in Zion, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks as well as Grand Canyon Railway.
Many of Xanterra’s programs – and the results of those programs – are described in detail in the company’s 2011 Sustainability Report. The report is available in every Xanterra guest room as well as online at this link xanterra.com/2011-sustainability-report-446936416-8404.html?design=new.