National Park Service honors Yellowstone concessioner with environmental award

Xanterra received an award from the National Park Service for designing a system to burn used cooking oil in the historic Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in Yellowstone National Park.The National Park Service honored Xanterra Parks & Resorts with four of its prestigious Environmental Achievement Awards, recognizing the company’s environmental initiatives at Yellowstone, Zion, Grand Canyon South Rim, and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Daniel N. Wenk, acting director of the National Park Service, presented the award. He said this year’s winners were “setting an example by protecting not only NPS sites but also the land and environment beyond their borders.”

The Yellowstone operation received the award for its development of a new green energy source in the park. An employee team designed and implemented an innovative system that directly burns used cooking oil collected from area kitchens in hotel boilers, providing heat to the guest rooms. This project achieves significant environmental gains, most notably by reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 200,000 pounds a year and eliminating the fossil fuels needed to transport the material offsite for recycling. The project represents just one of the many green initiativesspearheaded by Xanterra’s team at Yellowstone.

“Our employee ‘green teams’ and environmental affairs directors deserve a considerable amount of credit for developing and implementing successful environmental initiatives that truly make a difference in each location,” said Chris Lane, vice president of environmental affairs for Xanterra Parks & Resorts. “In remote national park locations, it is especially challenging to preserve and protect our natural resources and minimize our environmental footprint. To be recognized for our efforts by the National Park Service is a significant honor, and we are dedicated to continuing and enhancing these and other industry-leading environmental practices. We feel a strong sense of duty that comes with our stewardship of our country’s great national resources. All of us take this responsibility very seriously.”

For more information on the cooking oil to fuel project in Yellowstone and a photo slide show, you can read: From french fries to fuel: Yellowstone's new green energy.