Yellowstone’s Sustainability Program
There are many ways in which Xanterra Parks & Resorts helps manage its resources at each in-park lodging facility to further protect the natural wonder that is Yellowstone National Park. Check back regularly for updates from Yellowstone’s Environmental Director and learn about the environmental impact of each effort.
Yellowstone Builds Green
Xanterra Parks & Resorts has been a pioneer green building proponent for hospitality that combines environmental stewardship, historic preservation, modern visitor needs, and innovative partnerships with the National Park Service and other stakeholders. We believe that high performing facilities are the key to quality services and delighted visitors, efficient operations and comfortable employees, and the ability to adapt and endure through both current and future conditions in our parks.
At Yellowstone National Park, we value our role as a steward to iconic buildings—and leader setting the standard for new ones. We have achieved several significant “firsts” in Certifications for our Green Building projects through the years: the Gardiner LEED residences were the first in Montana; the Paintbrush Residence at Old Faithful was the first concessionaire project to earn LEED Platinum designation; and the forthcoming Canyon Area Lodging Redevelopment (CALR) is poised to become one of the largest, if not the most intensive, LEED projects throughout our public parks. To get an idea of how unique the modular-based CALR construction effort was, we think that the live, timelapsed video feeds linked here are a fascinating depiction. Watch our project collaborators in action through the seasons and rise and fall of the sun! You can also learn more about others’ impressions of the project and related efforts from the following sources:
Green Lodging News – Pre-constructed Canyon Lodge units enter Yellowstone National Park
Great Falls Tribune – New lodges replace old cabins at Yellowstone’s Canyon area
Record Waste Diversion in Yellowstone
During a strategic session with noted environmentalist Hunter Lovins, Xanterra developed a series of ambitious 2015 Environmental Vision Goals. They included a waste diversion target of 50% that we have come very close to achieving company-wide, and our operations at Yellowstone have consistently surpassed it.
In 2008—seven years before the target date—Xanterra’s Yellowstone operation not only achieved, but also greatly exceeded this goal. We diverted a remarkable 72% of our solid waste from landfill disposal through aggressive efforts in recycling, composting, material reuse, green procurement, and donations. Strategies for diversion encompassed a broad scope across all departments and activities; a focus on employee education and participation has proven to be key to the success of the endeavor.
In 2014, we demonstrated an improvement with 74% of waste diverted. Over 4 million pounds of material were recycled, composted, reused or donated. Along with the typical recycled materials such as paper, plastic, cardboard, aluminum, and glass, Xanterra expanded its efforts to encompass a broad spectrum of materials. In addition to conventional recyclables (cans, bottles, paper, etc.), Xanterra also recycles or donates for reuse wood pallets, denim for insulation, bar soap, used oil, tires, laundry bags, linens, curtains, batteries, cooking oil, manure, solvents, and more. In 2014, we recycled over 9,000 pounds of computers and other electronics/electrical equipment, shipped over 600,000 pounds of manure for reuse in agriculture, donated 42,750 pounds in mattresses for refurbishment for low-income housing, and constructed bags from discarded shower curtains for use in its laundry.
Additionally, initiatives in green procurement, such as preference for biodegradable to-go containers, and a comprehensive waste sorting program enable Xanterra to have a high portion of compostables. This material is sent to the West Yellowstone Compost Facility, where it was converted into nearly 2 million pounds of usable soil amendment in the last year of operation.
Xanterra’s new 2025 goals guide progress toward certification of at least 25 percent of its assets as landfill-free (zero waste).