GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO – November 2, 2017 – Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Inc., a global adventure travel company and the largest national park concessioner in the U.S., today announced environmental stewardship results across the company’s operations in its latest sustainability report.

A leader in addressing climate change for nearly two decades, Xanterra is focused on the challenge of increasing revenues while simultaneously decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and monitors this dynamic as “carbon productivity” – revenue earned per unit of carbon emitted.

The report summarizes progress Xanterra has made towards ambitious 2025 sustainability goals across four key areas: sustainable buildings and operations, zero waste, efficient resource use, and smart choices for guests. Working with the Carbon Disclosure Project, a nonprofit global disclosure system, to measure, report, and disclose sustainability efforts, Xanterra has conducted a thorough accounting of its key achievements to date and identified opportunities for improvement.

“While many things change around us, at Xanterra our commitment to the environment and the communities in which we operate remains constant.,” said Andrew N. Todd, CEO of Xanterra. “We recognize that Xanterra is a growing company, and increased operations bring increased carbon emissions, however, as the company becomes more efficient operationally, we become more efficient environmentally as well.”

Key achievements across Xanterra’s operations include:

Sustainable Buildings and Operations
In 2015 and 2016, Xanterra and the National Park Service embarked on the largest green building project constructed within the National Park System, the Canyon Lodge redevelopment project in Yellowstone National Park.

One project, the Paintbrush Dormitory, earned the highest level of recognition, LEED Platinum, for diverting more than 90 percent of construction waste from landfills, reducing energy by 40 percent and water by 35 percent compared to conventional construction, and meeting approximately 11 percent of the building’s electricity demand through solar. Other Canyon Lodge buildings received both Gold and Silver LEED awards for reducing annual energy demand by 30 percent and for sourcing more than 30 percent of materials within 500 miles of the project site, including finishes made from Montana mountain pine beetle-kill wood.

Striving for Zero Waste
Due to the wildlife in remote National Park locations, composting is very difficult or not allowed, so Xanterra is using “in-vessel” composting solutions to turn what would have been waste into gold. At Zion National Park, a dehydrator removes water from food waste and then turns it into compost. At Glacier National Park, Xanterra, in partnership with a local composting company, in 2016 diverted more than 175,000 pounds of food waste from the landfill. Also last year, “Operation Shrively Apples” at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim turned more than 6,500 pounds of food waste into supplemental, veterinarian-approved nourishment for the beloved Grand Canyon mules. A closed-loop project, the manure produced by the mules is then transported to Flagstaff, Arizona, for composting and sold to local nurseries and farmers.

Efficient Resource Use
Many Xanterra national park operations are literally at the end of the electric transmission line. Renewable energy not only provides the company with reliable energy but also decreases overall carbon emissions.

For nearly two decades, Xanterra has installed wind and solar to supplement power operations, including at Maumee Bay State Park, the Oasis at Death Valley, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon Railway, and Rocky Mountain National Park. In 2016, Xanterra generated approximately 2,170,562 kWh from these installations, avoiding carbon emissions from 1,627,767 pounds of coal. Additional installations and expansions are slated to come online over the next two years in Grand Canyon National Park, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Grand Canyon Railway’s steam Engines #29 and #4960 each run completely on yellow grease from kitchen grease generated in Xanterra and other regional kitchens, and the company is converting all of its heavy engine equipment to nonpetroleum-based lubricants. In 2016, Grand Canyon Railway harvested and reused more than 142,000 gallons of rainwater and snowmelt for steam operations; more than 486,000 gallons of water have been reused in the harvesting program since it began in 2010.

Smart Choices for Guests
Xanterra is supporting the “road trip of the future,” installing electric vehicle charging stations at Yellowstone National Park, Zion National Park, Glacier National Park, and Crater Lake National Park; more are slated to be installed over the next few years in partnership with the National Park Service. At the Crater Lake Lodge in Oregon, all of the wine served is from local Oregon wineries, while Xanterra’s souvenir clothing and T-shirts across the properties are made from recycled bottles, helping keep used bottles out of landfills, rivers, trails, and oceans.

“Almost every activity and transaction that occurs at Xanterra’s operations – lodges, restaurants, tours and activities in national and state parks, as well as resorts, a cruise line, railway and adventure tour companies — potentially impacts the environment and creates greenhouse gas emissions,” says Catherine Greener, VP, Sustainability. “Some operations, such as the Windstar cruise ships, require more carbon intensity than others.”

“We are proud of the results we have achieved since the publication of our last sustainability report,” says Greener. “While encountering many challenges in achieving our ambitious 2025 goals, we continue to modernize our infrastructure, change our behavior, and implement new technologies. These will ultimately save millions of gallons of water, reduce waste sent to landfills, and reduce carbon emissions.”

For information on Xanterra and to download the report, visit

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