DENVER—Xanterra Parks & Resorts, operator of concessions in national and state parks and resorts across the country, has been selected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the “2006 Performance Track Corporate Leader.” Xanterra was the only company to receive the recognition this year and is only the fourth company to receive the designation since its creation in 2004.
The EPA’s Performance Track program recognizes top environmental performers that voluntarily go beyond compliance with environmental regulations and publicly commit to specific environmental improvements over a three-year period. Xanterra’s operations at Yellowstone, Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon (both the North and South Rims) National Parks as well as Mount Rushmore National Memorial are members of the program.
According to EPA, the Corporate Leader designation is “a way to recognize companies that are substantially committed to Performance Track and exhibit policies and behavior at a corporate level that are associated with environmental excellence. The Corporate Leader designation enhances Performance Track by providing EPA with additional opportunities to work more effectively with corporate leaders in improving environmental performance beyond regulatory requirements. It recognizes and promotes corporate activities not often or fully integrated at the facility level, such as improving the environmental performance of a company’s suppliers and/or customers.”
Program Criteria Defined
To be eligible for the designation, a company must have at least five facilities that are each a member of Performance Track and have at least 25 percent of its U.S. operations (based on number and type of facilities, or employees), or 25 facilities, in Performance Track and/or similar state performance-based programs. Many of the 450 companies in the EPA’s Performance Track Program are Fortune 500 companies.
“We are honored by this designation because it is a reflection of the commitment to environmental sustainability by our employees throughout the company,” says Andrew N. Todd, president and c.e.o. of Xanterra. “Environmental awareness and proactive programs are pervasive among our operations.”
Members of the EPA Performance Track Program receive a range of incentives such as public recognition and low inspection priority. Members are also eligible for several kinds of administrative flexibility and streamlined administrative requirements that reduce costs and enable members to achieve better environmental results.
The company has become recognized as an environmental leader in the hospitality industry by being:
• The first hospitality company and the eighth company worldwide to commit to an absolute reduction target in greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) emissions through a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund and the Center for Energy & Climate Solutions.
• The first national park hospitality company to receive certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program for development at Yellowstone.
• The first national park hospitality company to publish a Sustainability Report, and the only tourism company to have the data in that report third-party certified as accurate.
• Among the first U.S. hospitality companies to receive the prestigious ISO 14001 International Environmental Management System Standard Certification for all of its national park operations.
• The first U.S. hospitality company to be granted the “Chain of Custody” certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to ensure sales of sustainably fished wild salmon.
• The first U.S. hospitality company to ban certain types of fish species deemed harmful to the environment because of harvesting practices or low species populations.
• One of only a few hospitality companies to use renewable wind energy to power a portion of electricity demands (at five national park locations).
• The first, and possibly the only, U.S. hospitality company to track, normalize and report all natural resource usage and waste generation at all locations through a computerized tracking system.
• The first park hospitality company to set and publicly disclose long-range environmental sustainability goals.
• One of only a few hospitality companies to use large-scale renewable solar photovoltaic systems to power portions of electricity demands.
• The first park hospitality company to develop an internal CAFÉ (corporate average fuel economy) standard for fleet vehicles.
• One of the few national park concessioners in the country to achieve Clean Marina Certification.
• One of only a few hospitality companies to be recognized as a top environmental performer by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through its National Environmental Performance Track Program. Xanterra has created a series of long-term goals—called its “2015 Environmental Vision.” These ambitious goals include:
• Decrease fossil fuel usage by 30 percent (baseline year 2000).
• Increase usage of renewable energy to provide 7 percent of total electricity consumed.
• Decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent (baseline year 2000).
• Divert from landfill 50 percent of all solid waste generated.
• Increase purchases of sustainable food items to 50 percent of all companywide food expenditures.
• Achieve companywide CAFÉ standard of 35 miles per gallon (EPA rated combined city and highway) for all passenger vehicles (under 10 persons) purchased annually.
• Generate zero hazardous waste.
• Decrease water usage by 25 percent (baseline year 2003).
Xanterra Parks & Resorts (consisting of Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Inc. and Xanterra South Rim, L.L.C.) operates lodges, restaurants and other concessions at national parks and state parks and resorts. go to Xanterra for more information.