Our Softer Footprint

In 2004, Xanterra committed to aggressive sustainability goals for the ensuing decade, guided by the following sustainability vision statement:

Our Softer Footprint: Providing experiences for our guests and employees, while protecting the environment and benefiting the places and communities where we operate.

We organized our sustainability goals and efforts under the following four pillars:

  • Use resources efficiently and effectively
  • Strive for zero waste
  • Build and operate sustainably
  • Provide guests with sustainable choices

These four pillars continue to guide decision-making at every level of the company—from food and beverage sourcing for our restaurants, to choosing fleet vehicles, to the type of paint we use in guest rooms.

Xanterra carefully tracks its environmental performance across all aspects of operations using our ISO 14001 audited program called Ecometrix. The data we gather through Ecometrix allows us to better solve problems, improve operations, and see our progress toward our sustainability goals over time.

As we wrap up 10 years of hard work to meet our sustainability goals, we must first applaud our dedicated—and often innovative—employees, whose ideas and passion are behind many of our success stories. Our conscientious guests also play a key role in helping us meet water, energy, and waste reduction goals. Our advanced measuring, monitoring, and reporting systems and technologies and our extensive and nimble environmental programs are crucial components as well. Additionally, we have built a company culture of continuous improvement and use the cycle shown below.


The following are a few ways, listed by pillar, that we have made progress toward our goals.

Pillar: Use Resources Efficiently and Effectively

At all of our properties, we routinely upgrade equipment to save energy and water, as well as install water-saving devices, such as low-flow toilets, showers, and sinks. We are also a committed World Wildlife Fund Climate Savers partner and purchase renewable energy to power a portion of our national park operations.

Death Valley National Park, California: We installed a 1.23 megawatt solar photovoltaic system that generates 2.3 million kWh per year. Xanterra also equipped the Inn at Death Valley within the park with a high-efficiency HVAC system and energy efficient windows.

Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, Arizona: We replaced incandescent lights with CFL and LED lighting, including in the historic El Tovar dining room. Additionally, we converted our boilers from fuel oil to propane and introduced clean-burning, compressed natural gas buses as we phased out diesel ones.

Pillar: Strive for Zero Waste

We are continually finding new ways to reuse, recycle, and compost materials. For example, we have introduced compost bins in guest rooms, eliminated plastic retail bags, replaced individual room amenities with bulk dispensers, and stopped selling bottled water at several properties. Xanterra has also hosted two Zero Waste to Landfill golf tournaments.

Windstar Cruises: Xanterra installed Natura water systems onboard all vessels, eliminating guest service of plastic water bottles.

Pillar: Build and Operate Sustainably

Xanterra is proud to have developed its own Guidelines for Environmentally Sustainable Design and Construction, and to lead the concessioner industry in green building and sustainable historic preservation. We also strive to meet the US Green Building Council’s rigorous LEED standards for new construction.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming and Montana: Xanterra reclaimed a formerly contaminated brownfield site, and constructed the first LEED certified employee housing in the national parks.

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon: Xanterra earned LEED certification for the new Annie Creek Restaurant and Gift Shop.

Zion National Park, Utah: Xanterra’s renovation of the park’s historic Western Cabins balanced historical accuracy with modern-day energy and water efficiency improvements, and included custom FSC-certified furnishings.

Pillar: Provide Guests Sustainable Choices

Xanterra offers guests a range of sustainable amenities and options for a lower-impact stay. From locally and sustainably sourced food and beverage selections; to recycling, compost, and linen reuse programs; to free water-bottle-filling stations; to our new electric-car charging station at Zion National Park, Xanterra encourages guests to join us in making a softer footprint. Xanterra has also made sustainability a priority in its For Future Generations retail concept that sources a large percentage of Made In America products. In addition, four of our golf courses are carefully maintained as Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries.

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