testing: Yellowstone National Park Lodges Receives Good Earthkeeping Award

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July 07th, 2010

Xanterra Parks & Resorts in Yellowstone National Park has received the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA)’s “Good Earthkeeping” award for large properties. AH&LA’s Achievement Awards, part of the annual Stars of the Industry Awards, honor stand-out initiatives at hotel properties.

The primary concessioner in Yellowstone and operator of nine lodging facilities as well as restaurants and gift stores, Xanterra launched an innovative “For Future Generations” gift store accompanied by a campaign aimed at raising the awareness of park guests and employees about climate change. The store is dedicated to interpreting climate change in parks featuring educational displays and product sustainability scorecards, which provides information on the impact each item has on the environment. The campaign also includes an innovative educational display in guest rooms with a plush animal toy, an educational brochure and website on being a green guest in national parks. An extensive training program also was developed and required for all 2,800 employees. Xanterra is now expanding the store to its other locations, including its operations at Grand Canyon and Crater Lake.

The AH&LA Stars of the Industry awards program was created more than 40 years ago to recognize outstanding accomplishments in the lodging industry. The Good Earthkeeping Award recognizes lodging properties that have developed a culture toward integrating superior environmental management practices and that show the organization’s commitment to achieving superior environmental success.

Xanterra’s environmental program, called Ecologix, is extensive. Last year the company diverted 73 percent of its solid waste from landfills into other areas such as recycling, reusing and composting. Over the past nine years the company has reduced its overall energy use by 14 percent and its water usage by 25 percent. The Yellowstone operation also completed a recent initiative that uses recycled vegetable oil to power boilers. The concessioner also began using amenities such as cruelty-free shampoo, conditioner and amenities bottles made of corn starch that are compostable. This single initiative will divert more than 280,000 plastic bottles – or nine tons – annually from the waste stream.

General reservations for accommodations, tours and activities can be made by calling Xanterra’s Yellowstone reservations at 307-344-7311, toll-free at 866-GEYSERLAND (1-866-439-7375).