National Park Service & Department of Interior Recognize Concessioner Environmental Achievements

The National Park Service recently announced the recipients of its 2011 Environmental Achievement Awards honoring outstanding accomplishments in the preservation and protection of park resources. The award recipients have demonstrated exceptional achievements in the protection of ecosystems, alternative energy use, reduction of solid waste and petroleum use, design of sustainable buildings, and climate friendly innovations.

Crissy Field Center, Partner, Golden Gate National Recreation Area - Moved its educational operation to a new 7,200 facility that serves as a model of sustainability. Highlights of this innovative building include a cool membrane roof that reflects heat away from the building, clerestory windows that increase natural lighting without increasing direct heat gain, siding made from bamboo fibers and recycled paper, and an advanced real time building energy monitoring system.

Golf Course Specialists, Inc., Concessioner at National Mall & Memorial Parks - Obtained an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program certification through reducing chemical use, water use, greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the use of non-synthetic chemicals, and creating enhanced native habitat areas to protect and sustain wildlife and plant species.

Grand Canyon Railway, Concessioner at Grand Canyon National Park - Converted its historic steam locomotive to run on 100% clean-burning waste vegetable oil, conserving 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel per trip and significantly reducing carbon emissions.

Xanterra South Rim, L.L.C., Concessioner at Grand Canyon National Park - Demonstrated continual improvements in environmental stewardship by way of their comprehensive Environmental Management System. Noteworthy accomplishments include a nearly 11% decrease in water consumption since 2007, and a decrease in gasoline and diesel consumption by over 16% since 2005.

Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Concessioner at Yosemite National Park - Increased its diversion rate of garbage previously sent to landfills by collecting and sending 216 tons of organic waste to the county compost facility.

Honorable mentions went to:

Guest Services, Inc., Concessioner at Rock Creek Park - Designed and built a new manure storage facility that incorporated sustainable elements into both its construction and operations.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Concessioner at Zion National Park - Significantly decreased fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions by reducing its fleet size by 33%.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Concessioner at Yellowstone National Park - Developed an environmentally preferable purchasing tool to evaluate products and services offered at their retail store. The tool's output is a sustainability index that measures sustainable attributes of both the vendor and products they sell.

The Department of Interior (DOI) Environmental Achievement Awards recognizes exceptional environmental achievements under Executive Order 13514 "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance." DOI selected Grand Canyon Railway as a Winner, and Guest Services, Inc., as an Honorable Mention for 2011.