Company’s Waterparks Included in Its Own Environmental Program Unveiled
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. ® (NASDAQ: WOLF), North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, announced all its U.S. properties have achieved Green Seal™ certification for the lodging portion of its operations, making Great Wolf Lodge® brand resorts the first and only national hotel chain to earn that distinction. Green Seal is a 20-year-old, independent, non-profit organization dedicated to creating a more sustainable world. Green Seal created a rigorous, science-based environmental standard for the industry, which includes nearly three dozen environmentally responsible criteria for lodging properties.
Along with the Green Seal announcement, Great Wolf Lodge executives took the occasion to unveil the company’s own, even more sweeping, environmental program called “Project Green Wolf.” Both the hotel and waterpark portions of the business are part of Project Green Wolf, and the program also includes an inventive educational program for the resorts’ youngest guests created in partnership with National Geographic Kids™.
“We believe green tourism is the most important travel trend of our lifetime, and we wanted to do the right thing by taking a leadership position on this, ” said Kim Schaefer, chief executive officer of Great Wolf Resorts. “It’s nice to be recognized as the first national hotel chain to achieve Green Seal Certification, yet more importantly, it’s gratifying to know we’re doing our part to create a sustainable tourism product for lots of families and generations to come.”
The company spent the last year making the necessary changes to meet the Green Seal requirements. As part of the certification process, each resort underwent an extensive operations audit covering nearly every aspect of its lodging business. All of the Great Wolf Resorts properties, including Blue Harbor Resort™ in Sheboygan, Wis., achieved Green Seal’s Silver Certification. Additionally, Great Wolf Lodge – Niagara Falls has received a four leaf Green Leaf™ Eco-Rating from the Audubon Green Leaf Eco-Rating Program in Canada.
Mark Petruzzi, vice president of certification for Green Seal, offered accolades to Great Wolf Resorts for setting a precedent for the hospitality industry. “Going green is not only achievable, as evidenced by Great Wolf Resorts, but it makes good business sense and can actually save lodging properties money while being more environmentally responsible, ” he said.
In fact, Great Wolf Resorts has already realized cost savings from the changes made for certification. At Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains, Pa., for example, the company saved nearly nine million gallons of water in one year by changing plumbing fixtures to low-flow units. This water, and resulting cost savings, represents only one property in the company’s portfolio of 12 resorts. Across the board, the company is also using less electricity and gas, which saves natural resources and reduces company expenses in these areas.
While undergoing the certification process, Great Wolf Resorts realized Green Seal Certification only covered the lodging portion of its business. The company decided to further examine its properties, and set out to create accountability and guidelines for “greener” waterparks and the rest of the resort amenities. Thus, Project Green Wolf was born.
Project Green Wolf included rewriting nearly every page of its operational procedures manuals (covering everything from the indoor and outdoor waterparks to on-property restaurants) and essentially rethinking the way it has traditionally done business. While some specifics vary by property, key areas of the Project Green Wolf program include:
Management of Fresh Water Resources
Water conservation programs include guest linen recycling; laundry facilities that recycle most of the consumed water; low-flow showers, toilets, and faucets; and waterless urinals. Additionally, by using the latest in pool filtration technology, most of the water in the waterparks can be recycled.
Waste Minimization, Recycling and Reuse
Recycling bins are available in all public areas, guest rooms and employee areas. When possible, Great Wolf Lodge works with local waste specialists to compost food waste and donate unused food items to local charities.
Throughout the resorts, Great Wolf Lodge uses energy-efficient bulbs, highly efficient heating and ventilation equipment, and Energy Star appliances.
Environmentally and Socially Sensitive Purchasing
Great Wolf Lodge’s purchasing partners are held accountable to ensure that every item ordered is environmentally sensitive. All paper products are post-consumer recycled, dishwashing and laundry detergents are biodegradable, and paint is low VOC.
Great Wolf Lodge focuses on family, so it’s only natural Project Green Wolf would include children’s environmental learning programs, developed in partnership with National Geographic Kids. There are active learning areas, a Green Wolf TV in-room channel, and interactive Web content, all dedicated to teaching kids how to be kind to the environment.
For more information about Project Green Wolf and Great Wolf Resorts’ other environmental initiatives, visit ProjectGreenWolf.com.
About Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.® (NASDAQ: WOLF), Madison, Wis., is North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, and, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, owns and operates its family resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge® and Blue Harbor Resort™ brands. Great Wolf Resorts is a fully integrated resort company with Great Wolf Lodge locations in: Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; Sandusky, Ohio; Traverse City, Mich.; Kansas City, Kan.; Williamsburg, Va.; the Pocono Mountains, Pa.; Niagara Falls, Ontario; Mason, Ohio; Grapevine, Texas; Grand Mound, Wash.; and Concord, N.C.; and Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sheboygan, Wis. Through Great Wolf Resorts’ environmental sustainability program, Project Green Wolf™, the company is the first and only national hotel chain to have all US properties Green Seal™ Certified – Silver.
The company’s resorts are family-oriented destination facilities that generally feature 300 – 600 rooms and a large indoor entertainment area measuring 40, 000 – 100, 000 square feet. The all-suite properties offer a variety of room styles, arcade/game rooms, fitness rooms, themed restaurants, spas, supervised children’s activities and other amenities. Additional information may be found on the company’s Web site at greatwolf.com.
About Green Seal
Founded in 1989, Green Seal provides science-based environmental certification standards that are credible, transparent, and essential in an increasingly educated and competitive marketplace. Its industry knowledge and standards help manufacturers, purchasers, and end-users make responsible choices that positively impact business behavior and improve quality of life.
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Green Seal issued its first environmental standards in 1991-2, and the first product certifications were completed in 1992. Thousands of products and services from major companies have now been certified to meet Green Seal standards, and the number of major product categories covered by standards has increased to more than 40. Green Seal may be found online at greenseal.org.
See also: Great Wolf Resorts to Present at Raymond James Conference on Monday, March 9
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