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Xanterra Parks and Resorts earns designation as EPA Performance Track Corporate Leader

Release Date: 05/09/2006
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov Mary Byrne (303) 312-6491 / byrne.mary@epa.gov Frank Montarelli (303) 312-6780 / montarelli.frank@epa.gov

(Denver, Colo., May 9, 2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated Xanterra Parks & Resorts, headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colo., as a 2006 Performance Track Corporate Leader.

EPA Region 8 Administrator Robert E. Roberts said, “Xanterra provides food and lodging for millions of visitors each year, and they do so on spectacularly beautiful lands that are the jewels of our nation. Xanterra’s remarkable environmental performance demonstrates that, while doing the right thing for our planet makes good green sense, it makes successful business sense, too.”

EPA created the Performance Track Corporate Leader designation to recognize companies that demonstrate an exceptional corporate-wide commitment to environmental stewardship and continuous improvement, and companies that are substantially involved in Performance Track at the facility level.

“Performance Track members are at the forefront of innovation and environmental stewardship, fundamentally strengthening the relationship between business and government,” says EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “The program itself marks an important milestone this year; EPA is pleased to celebrate five years of top environmental performance from members of the Performance Track program.”

Thirty-two percent, or six of Xanterra’s 19 facilities, including facilities at Bryce Canyon, Mt. Rushmore and Zion National Parks in Region 8, are Performance Track members. The six facilities include Xanterra’s larger operations, where more than 50 percent of the company’s employees work.

Xanterra’s history of environmental leadership includes:

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions: Xanterra has realized a five percent absolute reduction in greenhouse gases over the past five years by switching fuels from oil to propane and using strategic conservation programs. The company’s conservation programs include energy control systems in rooms and facilities, efficiency upgrades, such as lighting retrofits and Energy Star-rated equipment, a corporate CAFÉ standard to improve fleet vehicle efficiency, and targeted area shutdowns.

Implementing a sustainable foods program: Sustainable foods are grown, harvested, processed, packaged, and distributed to reduce environmental impacts. The company’s purchases of sustainable foods increased by 50 percent in 2005. Xanterra is the first U.S. hospitality company to be granted “Chain of Custody” certification from the Marine Stewardship Council for sales of sustainably fished wild salmon.

Verifying environmental performance: Xanterra has received external, third-party verification and certification of its environmental programs to determine whether the company’s environmental initiatives are reducing environmental impacts. In addition to undergoing ISO 14001 audits by an external auditor, Xanterra commissioned a private company to perform environmental compliance audits at key locations. Xanterra also publishes a sustainability report that includes third-party certification of its environmental data.

Supply chain performance: Xanterra collaborates with key suppliers as part of meeting its environmental goals. For example, packaging is a high-priority area for Xanterra, as product packaging is the primary waste material that the company generates. All suppliers must adhere to Xanterra’s packaging policy. To encourage innovation in this area, the company created an annual award to recognize the stakeholder who has made the greatest contribution to waste reduction through packaging and distribution innovations.

Emphasis on corporate governance: Xanterra is a privately owned company. Its CEO and Executive Team govern the company. The Senior Director of Environmental Affairs is a member of the Executive Team, which monitors environmental performance by requiring monthly reports on all environmental initiatives.

Xanterra’s future commitments as a Corporate Leader include: Further reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent; diverting 33 percent of all solid waste from landfills; increasing facility membership in Performance Track; increasing by 20 percent the number of suppliers that provide green or environmentally preferable products and services to the company -- this excludes food products but includes materials for building construction and renovations, retail products, vehicles and transportation-related items; and doubling sustainable food purchases.

More information on award winners can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/performancetrack/benefits/halloffame.htm. For more information on facilities accepted in August of 2005, visit http://www.epa.gov/performancetrack/events/new_round10_facilities_aug05.htm; those accepted in February, 2006, can be viewed at: http://www.epa.gov/performancetrack/round11PTFacilities.htm. For more on the program in general and its 402 members, visit http://www.epa.gov/performancetrack.