2015 Environmental Achievement Awards
NPS recently announced the 2015 recipients of the annual Environmental Achievement Awards, honoring NPS teams and partners that demonstrate exceptional environmental accomplishments in line with Executive Order (EO) 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management, and EO 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. This year, four concessioners were recognized for their achievements supporting the NPS goal of the preservation, protection and stewardship of environmental resources.
The NPS EA Award recognizes outstanding achievements in the following areas:
- Green Innovation;
- Lean, Clean, and Green;
- Good Neighbor;
- Green Dream Team;
- Building the Future;
- Environmental Stewardship; and
- Climate Champion.
Delaware North at Olympic National
Delaware North Parks and Resorts at Kalaloch: Creekside Restaurant at Olympic National Park received an award for Green Innovation in recognition of obtaining Green Restaurant Certification. In 2014, the stewardship platform GreenPath selected the Creekside Restaurant at Kalaloch Lodge as their first pilot project with the Green Restaurant Association (GRA) for their Green Dine Certification. After completing an assessment report for GRA, Delaware North attained recognition as a Three Star Certified Green Restaurant, with the intent to eventually achieve four-star certification. The restaurant attained 201.9 GreenPoints on the GRA’s certification scale, exceeding minimum requirements by 26.1 points. The restaurant was awarded points in energy, food, water, disposables, pollution prevention, and chemicals, for initiatives that include environmentally preferable purchasing, local/sustainable food sourcing, recycling and composting, a lighting retrofit to convert to 100% LEDs, provision of annual environmental educational programs, and the demonstration of continual change.
Sea Wolf at Glacier Bay
Sea Wolf Adventures, Inc. at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve received a Good Neighbor award for their Environmental Stewardship and Good Neighbor Project. Sea Wolf Adventures, a charter vessel concession, has made a significant effort to be environmentally aware, and to educate staff, visitors, and the community on best practices for environmental stewardship. In 2014, the Sea Wolf team built two especially noteworthy programs that reduce waste by 20%, and educate community youth. This is an extremely noteworthy accomplishment given the remote location of Sea Wolf Adventures, Inc. and the limited waste reduction services available to areas in Alaska. The programs hire local residents and encourage involvement in community service, as well as support local businesses. Waste reduction achievements include a 41% reduction in plastics, smart purchases to reduce packaging waste, the addition of biodegradable waste bags in the gallery and guest rooms, and development of a program to retrofit Sea Wolf’s engine and generators with filters and screens to reduce emissions. Community building achievements include a crew comprised of 60% local residents, with 35% of those hired in 2014, and helping a local school to plan field trips and implement an after school homework club.
Xanterra at Yellowstone
Xanterra Parks and Resorts at Yellowstone National Park received a Good Neighbor Award for developing programs to strengthen the Yellowstone community through sustainable food choices. Xanterra’s dedication to corporate stewardship is reflected in the company’s commitment to ensuring operations have as little an impact on the natural environment as possible. Xanterra firmly believes in the adage “you are what you eat” and takes pride in providing healthy and sustainable cuisine to park visitors. So much so that the company has worked to create a standard by which they can prioritize and measure their commitment to sustainable cuisine. Currently, Xanterra focuses on food and beverage items that are produced within 500 miles of the park, are produced by systems that minimize harm to the environment, have third-party certification or verification (such as Fair Trade, USDA Organic, GMO free, Marine Stewardship Council Certified, etc.), are vegetarian or vegan, and have minimal impact on animal welfare (cage free, free range, no added hormones). Xanterra also recognizes the potential ancillary impacts of food choices, and monitors the impacts of purchases on local economies through an environmental tracking database, which tracks consumption of electricity, propane, liquid fuels, water, generation and purchase of renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions, waste disposal and diversion, and sustainable retail purchasing.
Xanterra South at Grand Canyon
Xanterra South Rim, LLC at Grand Canyon National Park received a Green Innovation award for its innovative approach to radical waste reduction. In 2014, Xanterra enhanced their long term commitment to solid waste diversion to include a strategic, team-based approach to reducing the amount of waste going into landfills. One of Xanterra’s most creative initiatives is Operation Shrively Apples, a program aimed at reducing restaurant waste by using scraps as mule food. The manure produced by these mules is then taken to a facility in Flagstaff, Arizona for composting, and eventually used as fertilizer. With all of Xanterra’s waste minimization projects, the company has recycled or donated nearly 4.2 million pounds of material, diverted 56% of solid waste from its operations, and composted almost 1.5 million pounds of mule manure.