U.S. Parks Concessioner Earns EPA's Top 'Performance Track' Honor

U.S. Parks Concessioner Earns EPA's Top 'Performance Track' Honor

Xanterra Parks & Resorts, operator of concessions in national and state parks and resorts across the U.S., has been selected by the Environmental Protection Agency as the "2006 Performance Track Corporate Leader." Xanterra was the only company to receive the recognition this year and is only the fourth company to receive the designation since its creation in 2004.

The EPA's Performance Track program recognizes top environmental performers that voluntarily go beyond compliance with environmental regulations and publicly commit to specific environmental improvements over a three-year period. Xanterra’s operations at Yellowstone, Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon (both the North and South Rims) National Parks as well as Mount Rushmore National Memorial are members of the program.

According to the EPA, the Corporate Leader designation is “a way to recognize companies that are substantially committed to Performance Track and exhibit policies and behavior at a corporate level that are associated with environmental excellence. The Corporate Leader designation enhances Performance Track by providing EPA with additional opportunities to work more effectively with corporate leaders in improving environmental performance beyond regulatory requirements. It recognizes and promotes corporate activities not often or fully integrated at the facility level, such as improving the environmental performance of a company's suppliers and/or customers.”

To be eligible for the designation, a company must have at least five facilities that are each a member of Performance Track and have at least 25% of its U.S. operations (based on number and type of facilities, or employees), or 25 facilities, in Performance Track and/or similar state performance-based programs. Many of the 450 companies in the EPA’s Performance Track Program are Fortune 500 companies. Previous designees are global medical products and services company Baxter Healthcare Corp., global manufacturer of health care products Johnson & Johnson and global provider of aviation electronic and communication solutions Rockwell Collins.

“We are honored by this designation because it is a reflection of the commitment to environmental sustainability by our employees throughout the company,” said Andrew N. Todd, president and CEO of Xanterra. “Environmental awareness and proactive programs are pervasive among our operations.” Members of the EPA Performance Track Program receive a range of incentives such as public recognition and low inspection priority. Members are also eligible for several kinds of administrative flexibility and streamlined administrative requirements that reduce costs and enable members to achieve better environmental results.

As part of its commitment to environmental performance, Xanterra has created a series of long-term goals called its “2015 Environmental Vision.” These goals include:
  • Decreasing fossil fuel usage by 30% (baseline year 2000);

  • Increasing usage of renewable energy to provide 7% of total electricity consumed;

  • Decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% (baseline year 2000);

  • Diverting from landfill 50% of all solid waste generated;

  • Increasing purchases of sustainable food items to 50% of all companywide food expenditures;

  • Achieving companywide CAFÉ (corporate average fuel economy) standard of 35 miles per gallon (EPA rated combined city and highway) for all passenger vehicles (under 10 persons) purchased annually;

  • Generating zero hazardous waste;

  • Decreasing water usage by 25% (baseline year 2003).
Xanterra Parks & Resorts operates concessions in the following locations: Yellowstone, the North Rim of Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Crater Lake, Death Valley, Petrified Forest and Everglades national parks, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial; and at the Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif.; Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and eight Ohio State Parks. Its affiliate Xanterra South Rim, L.L. C. operates concessions at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.