After one year into their concessions contract with the National Park Service, Delaware North at the Grand Canyon celebrates many stewardship achievements.

Immediately upon assuming the contract, the Grand Canyon embraced GreenPath which was incorporated into all areas of the operation.  Their stewardship approach integrated environmental management, interpretation and education, facilities management, healthy living, and community involvement.

The property utilized GreenPath, the company’s environmental management system to achieve ISO 14001 registration within nine months of their new contract.

Environmental Management

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program (EPP)

Delaware North immediately implemented an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program to promote sustainable food and local products.  Retail supports the EPP program and purchased products from local artisans, made in the USA, and Native American handicrafts.  In fact 90% of Desert View Trading Post and 67% of Yavapai Lodge’s retail includes Made in the USA and Native American handicrafts.

Food and Beverage purchases support local, organic, and sustainable products.

• 100% compostable dishware and service ware

• Napkins contain 100% recycled fibers

• Dinnerware is Melamine for durability and is recyclable

• Dispense condiments in bulk

• 100% of salad greens are organic and local

• 100% of garlic is local

• 80% of cucumbers are local

• 60% of tomatoes are local

• 50% of melons are local

• 90% of chicken served is local and is antibiotic free, and free range

• 80% of shell eggs are local

• 100% of the ingredients for the vegetarian burger is local and is handmade

• 85% of seafood (shrimp, trout and Salmon) is on Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Good Choice list; 15% is on

the Good Alternative list

• 70% of dairy products is local and 100% free of Human Growth Hormone (HGH)

• 41% of beer taps are local (Flagstaff, Williams, and Oak Creek)

• Offer two Arizona Wines

• Offer one local Bourbon

 Waste Management

With over 5.5 million visitors to the park each year, waste is a critical issue.  The Grand Canyon’s integrated approach includes source reduction, reuse, and recycling.  An important partnership with Roots Composting made it possible to divert organic waste from the landfill; this waste was converted into a rich compost.  The following contributed to a 46% solid waste diversion rate in 2015.

  • Removed fried food from the menu
  • Performed four highway cleanups and picked up ~40 bags of garbage
  • Installed bulk dispensers in guest rooms and restaurants
  • A comprehensive recycling program of more than 17 material types
  • Installed a water filling station at Yavapai Lodge
  • Established a wood pallet recycling program and diverted more than 600 pallets
  • Diverted 24,580 pounds of organic waste
  • Installed additional recycling bins at Camper Services, Yavapai Lodge and guest rooms
  • Recycled ~16 tons of concrete and 0.6 tons of steel from the Yavapai Lodge remodel

Donations to the Kayenta Reservation and St. Vincent de Paul Society included:

  • 7 Washing machines and dryers
  • Home appliances and TV’s
  • 200 blankets
  • 200 duvets
  • 200 fleece coats
  • 300 T-shirts
  • 300 hats

Water Conservation

Water is a critical and precious resource at the Grand Canyon.  In 2015, 358 shower heads and faucet aerators were retrofitted in Yavapai Lodge guest rooms.  The lodging operations constitute about one-third of our water use.  Collectively, these fixtures are estimated to reduce water use 48% annually. Shower heads with a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM) were replaced with fixtures that flow at 1.75 GMP, saving 0.75 GPM.  Faucet aerators with a flow rate of 2.2 GPM were replaced with fixtures that flow at of 0.5 GPM, saving 1.70 GPM.  The installation of these low flow fixtures are projected to save an estimated at 2,497,834 gallons annually.  Shower timers were installed in 358 guest rooms to encourage guests to shower in five minutes or less.  A linen reuse program was also implemented to save water and energy.

Energy Conservation

As equipment and fixtures are replaced, Energy Star rated products area sourced.  Seven programmable thermostats were installed as a part of the Yavapai Lodge Remodel.  These fixtures contribute to an estimated 10% energy reduction.  The purchase of three hybrid vehicles reduce fuel use for business travel.  A no-idling policy was implemented for company and delivery vehicles.  Environmental messaging encourages guests and employees to turn off lights, use cold water when laundering, wash/dry full loads of laundry, and when possible walk, bike, carpool, or use public transportation.  Phillips Lighting conducted a site assessment to identify lighting efficiencies.  And, a solar assessment was conducted to determine the feasibility of renewable power at CVM General Store, Camper Services, Brandt Hall, and Yavapai Lodge.

Facilities Management

The Yavapai Lodge remodel incorporated the use of sustainable products and practices.  This project achieved a 46% solid waste diversion rate!

  • Low or No VOC paints, carpet, wood flooring, resilient base, and solid surfaces
  • Carpet tiles made from 4% pre-consumer materials and 100% recyclable, green certified
  • Use of local stone
  • Reclaimed wood used throughout the project
  • Ceiling tiles are closed loop recyclable
  • Asbestos assessment and abatement
  • LED lighting utilized
  • Recycling of concrete, steel, and universal wastes
  • Integrated technology (kiosks and electronic menu boards)

Interpretation and Education

The use of Kiosks and electronic menu boards are innovative ways to operate and reduce waste.  TV’s at Yavapai lodge and guest rooms play the GreenPath video to increase visitor communications about our initiatives and actions they can take to reduce their environmental footprint.

Environmental messaging communicates environmental initiates to the guests and include retail product, menu items, and lodging.

Staff receive GreenPath awareness training, key staff receive job specific training related to the environmental program, and there is a green team that consists of over 15 people.

The Green Team meets 12 times per year to assist with the program by assisting with projects, communications, participating in volunteer events, and coordinating with the NPS Green Team.

Community engagement

A key aspect of our program is its focus on establishing partnerships with local communities and agencies in support of a holistic and more regional view of sustainability.  Partnerships with Roots, local vendors, DOT/Adopt-a-Highway, the NPS, Phillips Lighting, and Westwind Solar were all critical to establish GreenPath at Grand Canyon.

An Earth Day event focused on water conservation.  The event included information about water conservation, environmentally preferable purchasing, and giveaways (reusable bottles and fresh produce).

One scholarship for $2,000 was awarded to a Grand Canyon high school senior for winning an essay contest about sustainability.

Published March 2016