Basis of Certification

The GS-33 standard is based on waste minimization, water and energy efficiency, hazardous substance handling, and an environmental purchasing policy. Specifically, standards cover and help stimulate improvements in:

  • Waste minimization (e.g. efficient packaging and reuse of materials; bulk purchases and refills for in-room amenities)
  • Energy conservation and management (e.g. updated CFL, LED and other efficient light fixtures)
  • Management of fresh water resources (e.g. low-flow guestroom and bathroom fixtures)
  • Waste water management (e.g. use of phosphate-free, watershed-friendly soaps and detergents)
  • Pollution prevention (e.g. safe, low-toxicity cleaning chemicals)
  • Organizational commitment (e.g. to environmentally sensitive purchasing)

Lake Yellowstone Hotel, and Xanterra’s operations at Yellowstone National Park in general, have a lot in common that qualify the location for Green Seal certification. The following table summarizes specific examples of impact reduction and Green Seal compliance at the Hotel, as well as indication of where these are parkwide practices. We also note opportunities for meeting Green Seal, and similar sustainability commitments, in the future.

Environmental Requirement

We are committed to supporting Green Seal certification of Lake Yellowstone Hotel, updating it to Gold level within two years, and applying related policies and best practices to our other operations wherever possible. Additionally, we maintain numerous environmental initiatives as obligated by our National Park Service contract for Yellowstone.

Regulatory Compliance

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
Lake Yellowstone Hotel has not received any environmental violations.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
Our parkwide goal each year is to experience zero reportable releases to the environment and zero violation notices.

Environmental Program

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
Xanterra Park & Resort’s parkwide environmental management system includes facilities and operations at Lake Yellowstone Hotel.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
Xanterra Park & Resorts operates an ISO-14001 certified environmental management system (EMS). “Ecologix” is guided by corporate policies and the property’s Sustainability Department, in addition to employee manuals, and the Yellowstone Environmental Stewardship Council, which is open to all staff.

Waste Minimization

Yellowstone National Park has a zero-waste goal for operations, including those of concessionaires like Xanterra by the end of 2016. In the time being, we have our own, internal corporate goals for responsible waste management, including to increase landfill diversion to 50 percent, recycle almost all hazardous and universal waste, and promote waste vegetable oil reuse. We track performance on an annual basis.

Recycling Program

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
To reduce waste going to landfills, conserve resources from raw materials, and save energy, we maintain extensive sorting facilities for recycling, with over 75% (4 million pounds!) diverted in 2013. Aside from universal waste sorting, solid waste is managed via a 3-color system of bags for staff operations, and dedicated sorting opportunities both in-room and in common indoor and outdoor areas for guests. Most consists of glass, metals, paper (office and mixed), plastics, newspaper, cardboard, and aerosol cans, in addition to, wherever possible, motor oil, tires, carpet, bar soap, cooking oil, bear spray and campstove fuel cans, shower curtains, computers/electronics, printer toner/cartridges, and compost. Ample signage and sorting units, diligent staff training, a centralized approach to secondary sorting, and our partnership with the West Yellowstone Compost Facility are instrumental to our industry-leading recycling rates.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
Currently non-compostable or non-recyclable materials like candy wrappers, cigarettes, condiment wrappers, food packaging, and similar materials do not have a sustainable channel for diversion and Xanterra Parks & Resorts is piloting a program to address the gap.

Composting Program

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
The composting of food and yard waste is not part of Bronze certification… but we excel in this type of waste diversion anyway!

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
We’ll aim to increase reduce food waste overall and increase organic waste diversion rates to composting.

Refillable Amenities

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
Reduction of single-use products through refillable amenities is not part of Bronze certification. That said, we already offer bulk soap and lotion in guest and employee bathrooms! This reduces packaging and the environmental footprint related to shipping and transportation.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
Our peer properties are testing bulk condiments for guest services, in addition to those already in our staff dining areas.

Double-sided Printing

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We reduce waste and reuse materials when possible. Copiers and printers are purchased to enable our default setting of double-sided printing. ‘Waste’ paper printed on one side is diverted (pre-recycling) for use as scratch paper and notepads.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
Our audit processes will help assure that all units follow this policy. We are also shifting to wipeboards and more electronic communications, training materials, and forms.

Food Donation

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We minimize food waste rather than discarding it. As a remote setting, with staggered operations, we don’t end up having many food leftovers. We’re creative with recipes, efficient with orders, and smart about freezing/preserving. When possible, we donate non-perishable leftovers to regional soup kitchens.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
Xanterra’s also a highly engaged neighbor and our annual food drives benefit local communities, in addition to year-round contributions of non-food items.

Food Service Items

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We minimize the use of disposable food service items and maintain procurement records for services and locations where such items are in use. We’re already free of plastic straws, but must offer guests options too, so takeout food venues utilize recycled content and processed chlorine-free napkins and containers, in addition to biobased plastic (PLA) utensils and clamshells, which are industrially compostable and avoid use of oil-based plastic. Employee dining offers reusable dishware only.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
As time progresses and the technology for and quality of products improves, we will continue to seek items with higher sustainable content, less material volume, and the capacity for reuse.

Energy Management

Our 2016 Environmental Vision Goal is to decrease fossil fuel usage by 30 percent and increase usage of renewable energy to provide 7 percent of total electricity consumed, from the baseline year of 2003. Related goals include reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent, and achieving a company-wide corporate average fuel economy for our fleet’s passenger vehicles of 35 mpg.

Energy-Consuming Devices

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We are committed to purchasing the most energy efficient options possible upon replacing equipment, including EPEAT, ENERGY STAR, Energy Guide, and other verified labels, in addition to following LEED guidelines for new construction. This includes in-room electronics, office machines, HVAC and refrigeration, kitchen devices, and laundry.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
We are developing asset and product/vendor tracking procedures to systematically track eco-labels and similar sustainable attributes.

Indoor Lighting

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We use energy-efficient lighting fixtures. Recently, the Hotel underwent major interior renovations that included replacement of most guest area bulbs to CFLs and LEDs. In addition, the boiler building’s incandescent bulbs were replaced and in kitchen and offices, lamps were upgraded to T-8s. CFLs use 65%-75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and last up to 10 times longer.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
We are working toward parkwide lighting replacements for greater energy efficiency as well, as part of our contract with the National Park Service. Preserving nighttime darkness while providing guests with safe lighting indoors and out are priorities! LEDs and new technology that meets historical fixture criteria are also being installed where feasible. Our corporate lighting policy eliminates the use of all incandescents.

Appliances & HVAC

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We have a system of preventive maintenance schedules to monitor and track efficiency of HVAC and operating equipment, including refrigeration, air conditioners, heaters/boilers, IT machines, ovens, vacuums, dishwashers and more. Calibrations save energy and money. Good thing that summer nights tend to cool buildings naturally here, as AC is a big energy hog!

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
Xanterra is testing out devices that will dramatically reduce the energy use of our walk-in freezers and other refrigerated units by cutting down on motor restarts.

Water Management

Xanterra has set an aggressive long-term goal to reduce water use by 25 percent from 2003 baseline levels by 2016.

Water-Efficient Fixtures

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We install water-conserving plumbing fixtures, which on average use 30% less water and less energy. All new toilets, bathroom faucets, showerheads, and landscape irrigation meet or exceed EPA specifications.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
In Yellowstone National Park, where Xanterra operates nine lodges along with numerous restaurants, stores and activities, the company installed $2 million worth of modern, energy-efficient laundry equipment, including a continuous batch washing system that saves more than 3,000 gallons of water daily. Replacing parts in historical buildings can be difficult, but all new construction is to LEED standards. We’re also assessing opportunities to implement metering and graywater reuse.

Landscaping & Irrigation

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
With the elk as groundskeepers, we don’t need (or want) to do much with plantings! Thus, we do not maintain lawns at the Hotel. Our landscaping is drought resistant, and does not require irrigation.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
Elsewhere in the park, watering takes place only in the mornings or the evenings, in order to reduce evaporation, and xeriscaping and use of native species are required.

Towel & Linen Reuse

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
Hangtags tell guests about the option to participate in our towel and linen reuse program, which reduces water, chemical and energy use. Housekeeping staff replaces towels and linens in guest rooms after four days (three nights)—unless otherwise requested.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
We’re working on a way to track guest participation in this program; we know that it has a significant positive impact, and there’s always room for more engagement!

Washing Capacity

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We train employees on the efficient use of laundry and dish cleaning machines to save water and energy. This includes elimination of water-intensive meat thawing processes.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
For sanitation codes, we must balance chemical use with effective water temperatures. That said, we rarely operate a machine that’s not full, and choose high efficiency products whenever replacements are possible.

Hazardous Substances

Our 2016 Environmental Vision Goal is to reduce hazardous waste by 100 percent. In addition, we implement specific procedures for limiting exposure to potentially toxic substances.

Storage & Mixing of Products

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
Only managers and housekeeping inspectors conduct cleaning chemical mixing. The two primary solutions utilize environmentally-safe Ecolab products, including floor cleaner, and non-chlorine bleach with water.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
Our operations require minimal use of chemicals in general, with applications contained to eco-friendly cleaning and maintenance products in housekeeping, kitchens, and support services (e.g., building systems, equipment repair, and garage).

Chemical Storage

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
Our chemical storage and mixing areas are secure, and provide adequate drainage and ventilation to help maintain indoor air quality.

Pest Control

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We maintain an integrated pest management (IPM) program, which is an environmentally sensitive approach to controlling pests that reduces risk of harm to humans and natural habitats, especially considering that we are in a national park!

Sustainable Purchasing

Xanterra has corporate recycling and environmental purchasing policies as part of its Environmental Management System, so these practices extend to its other facilities as well. Our annual goal is to increase sustainable retail by 2 percent. Also, while not required for Green Seal, our 2016 Environmental Vision Goal is to increase purchases of sustainable food items to 50 percent (by expenditure).

Environmental Purchasing Policy

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We train employees to implement EPP as practical per department, in order to facilitate purchase of sustainable products and services. Guests are made aware of responsible choices wherever possible in gift shops, restaurant menus, pamphlets, signage, and stickers. We strive to meet progressive goals toward local sourcing, among other attributes.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
We are increasingly focused on addressing the life-cycle impacts, efficiency, cost savings, disposable impacts and repurposing capacity of products. An updated corporate EPP and property-specific version that addresses National Park Service requirements are in progress.

Paper Products

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We use sanitary and printing paper products that contain a minimum post-consumer recycled content of 100% and are bleach-free. Most have been third-party verified, such as by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Recycled paper uses up to 90% less water and 50% less energy to produce than paper from virgin tree fiber materials. We use soy-based inks in our printing operations.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
Includes all toilet tissue for more than 2,200 guest rooms, campgrounds and RV parks; towels for dispensers at all properties and restrooms; and, napkins in employee dining rooms and cafeterias.

Cleaning, Laundry & Dish Products

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We use environmentally friendly cleaning services and products that are phosphate-free, non-toxic, biodegradable, and concentrated.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
We are phasing in comparable products at our campground laundry vending machines.

Paints

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We use products that have a low (or zero) VOC content, in order to reduce indoor air pollution and support occupant health. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are contained in many products like cleaning chemicals, paints, adhesives, furnishings, and carpets but comparable alternatives are available.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
We maintain a parkwide paint management plan to assure safe storage, application, offgassing, and disposal of paints. Over 90% of our paints are water-based latex.

Durable Goods

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We select furnishings and equipment that are durable to allow for refinishing, reupholstering, refurbishing, or recycling. As a historic facility, in particular, the Hotel and other properties in the park are part of a culture of reuse and restoration. For example, when a wicker or leather chair is damaged, it is repaired instead of replaced. The same is done for electrical equipment like vacuums.

Reusable Packaging & Shipping Pallets

Lake Yellowstone Hotel
We give preference to environmentally conscious vendors who reduce, reuse and take pack packaging, and do so ourselves by reusing materials for gift packaging in our retail stores.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts – Yellowstone
Waste from wood pallets, in addition to brush and other sources, is a complex challenge. We’re working on approaches to compost more of this waste, encourage vendor takeback, and reduce waste from damaged pallets.