DENVER— Xanterra Parks & Resorts has published a 48-page Sustainability Report detailing the concessioner’s extensive environmental management programs, quantifying the progress of those programs and identifying a set of environmental goals. The report is placed in Xanterra guestrooms in national and state park lodges and resorts across the country. This is the company’s second Sustainability Report.
Xanterra was the first national park hospitality company to document specific results of its environmental management system. Xanterra was also the first company in the entire tourism industry to create quantifiable environmental performance metrics specific to hospitality.
Xanterra’s environmental management program, called Ecologix, has earned recognition from a variety of industry and environmental organizations for its depth and success. The company uses its own highly refined performance metrics model—called Ecometrix—to define resource consumption on annual per-room night and per-dollar revenue bases. Ecometrix is the tourism industry’s first environmental performance metrics. The model defines annual totals of resource consumption and divides that total by total annual rooms occupied and companywide revenue, allowing Xanterra to focus on environmental goals that are measurable to a high level of accuracy.
“We are sometimes asked why we would air our environmental ‘dirty laundry’ by publishing this report,” says Chris Lane, senior director of environmental affairs for Greenwood Village-based Xanterra Parks & Resorts. “The reason is simple. Xanterra is serious about operating our business in an environmentally responsible way, and we believe there is always room for improvement, and you can’t improve upon what you can’t measure. As a company, we have gone way beyond what I call ‘greenwashing’—claiming to be environmental even though the numbers do not support the claim—and the Sustainability Report proves our commitment to lessening our environmental impact on the parks and resorts where we operate.”
Lane and other Xanterra leaders believe corporations must actively address the world’s most pressing environmental problems and be transparent in their impacts. The success of those efforts is directly tied to a company’s overall viability in an increasingly competitive corporate world.
The 2005 Sustainability Report includes a series of ambitious environmental goals called the “2015 Environmental Vision.” The goals include decreasing fossil fuel use by 30 percent by 2015, increasing usage of renewable energy to provide 7 percent of total electricity consumed, diverting 50 percent of all solid waste generated from landfills, decreasing water usage by 25 percent and generating zero hazardous waste.
Xanterra’s Sustainability Report provides an in-depth analysis of the company’s overall resource consumption, emissions, waste management, recycling, pollution prevention and overall sustainability efforts. It also highlights a variety of measurable results in individual locations including Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, Zion, Death Valley, Bryce Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Everglades and Ohio State Park Resorts. The complete report can be viewed online by following the “Environmental Action” link at www.xanterra.com.