4.1 tons of plastic packaging reduced. 68,252 water bottles reused. 292 tons of waste recycled. In 2017 alone, we enhanced our sustainability to a level the hospitality industry hasn’t seen before; and we aren’t stopping there.
The common phrase, “reduce, reuse, recycle,” is always at the forefront of our work. Doug Verner, vice president of Guest Services, states that this company is a part of the “cutting-edge solution” to the plastic pollution problem by no longer using plastic bags, plastic stirrers, and reducing the usage of plastic overall. In July 2018, we took it even further by participating in the Skip the Straw campaign. We will no longer use plastic straws at all of our owned and managed properties by the end of 2018. We also pledge to convert all of our plastic bags used for customer purchases to either reusable or paper bags.
With a yearly goal of reducing energy consumption by 2%, there are many ways our businesses’ interact with sustainability. We have LED lighting and an electronic records system in most locations, while all units regularly recycle paper, glass, cardboard, plastic, and aluminum. Here is a list featuring a few units’ other environmentally-friendly actions:
- Mount Rainier: Operates five propane-gas powered vehicles, receives locally sourced guest amenities, offer guests reusable water bottles for complimentary fill-ups at three hydration stations within the Park
- Lancaster Foods: Compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled trucks, LED warehouse lighting
- All full-service marinas and many boathouses: Certified Green Marinas that control waterway pollution (Lake Mead’s Cottonwood Cove is the world’s first floating green building to receive LEED® gold certified marina building)
- National Mall Kiosks and Retail centers: Heated and cooled through a closed-loop geothermal system (first National Park Service partner to do so)
Guest Services reduces its overall waste in various ways:
- Lowers paper consumptions by more than 800,000 sheets a year
- Purchases environmentally-friendly products
- Continues to carry out our Sustainable Seafood and Dolphin-safe canned-tuna programs
- Prepares with locally raised poultry and pork, hormone-free dairy products, and cage-free eggs with help by Pro*Act
- Joins the “Clean the World” program that donates over 3,200 bottles and soap bars
- Donates used furniture and gently used linens to local homeless shelters
Outside of the workplace, we also have our Clean-a-Park program; but, Guest Services’ sustainability continues to grow.
“There will be some exciting new developments in 2019,” says Doug. “They have the potential to reduce the use of cleaning chemicals.”
If you have any idea on how Guest Services can further improve our sustainability efforts, Doug would love to hear it! Please send your thoughts to VernerD@guestservices.com; we look forward to continuing to reduce our environmental impact even more.