Madison, Wis.-based Great Wolf Resorts has achieved Green Seal certification for the lodging portion of its operations at each of its 12 indoor waterpark resorts, it announced this month, adding that it is the country's first and only national hotel chain to have achieved that distinction.
"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," Great Wolf Resorts CEO Kim Schaefer said in a statement. "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."
In pursuit of Green Seal certification, Great Wolf spent the last year auditing the lodging portions of its resorts—which also include meeting space—for environmental opportunities. While they varied at each property, changes that resulted from its audits included energy- and water-efficiency improvements that Great Wolf said have made its resorts not only more environmentally friendly, but also more cost-effective.
"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," said Mark Petruzzi, vice president of certification for Green Seal.
Because it wants to green its entire operation, Great Wolf this month introduced a new green program called "Project Green Wolf," which covers everything from its properties' waterparks to their restaurants and therefore required the company to rewrite nearly every page of its operational procedures manuals.
Among key components of Project Green Wolf:
• Water conservation, achieved through guest linen recycling, low-flow plumbing fixtures and state-of-the-art pool filtration technology.
• Waste minimization, achieved through public-area and in-room recycling bins, food donation and composting.
• Energy efficiency, achieved through energy-efficient light bulbs, HVAC systems and ENERGY STAR appliances.
• Environmentally preferable purchasing, achieved by ordering post-consumer recycled paper products, low VOC paint, biodegradable detergents, etc.
• Guest education, achieved through a Green Wolf TV in-room channel, interactive Web content and more.
For more information about Great Wolf Resorts and Project Green Wolf, visit www.ProjectGreenWolf.com