Zion Lodge in Zion National Park has become the first hotel in a national park – and one of just three properties overall – to receive the Green Seal Lodging Standard prestigious Gold certification for Hotels and Lodging Properties.

The Green Seal certification means that a third party – Green Seal – has verified that the lodge’s environmental programs have been effectively implemented. Green Seal, an organization dedicated to identifying and promoting sustainability in the marketplace, will perform an annual audit to ensure Zion Lodge remains compliant with the standard.

Green Seal offers three levels of certification with Gold being the highest. The standards have been created to help stimulate improvements in waste minimization, energy conservation and management, management of fresh water resources, waste water management, pollution prevention, and encourage organizational commitment to programs like environmentally sensitive purchasing.
Achieving the Gold level means that Zion Lodge met all criteria for silver certification plus three more areas – energy reduction, greenhouse gas reduction and a compliant green cleaning plan.

“This certification is the most comprehensive way yet to demonstrate that our work here is as environmentally sustainable as we claim,” said David Perkins, director of sustainability and risk management for Zion Lodge. “To achieve this standard, everything we do has changed or been enhanced, from the way we wash linens and dishes to the process we use to purchase products and services. This includes our in-room amenities, landscaping and grounds keeping procedures, chemicals, paint, the windows in the buildings and the contractors and vendors we use to name just a few.”

Among Zion Lodge’s environmental practices are using renewable wind power for 100 percent of the lodge’s electricity, purchasing only EPA Energy Star-approved computers and other equipment, installing three photovoltaic solar arrays, purchase of a 200-gallon solar thermal system serving an on-site commercial laundry and saving on glass waste by serving beer on tap and eliminating bottles.

Other external certifications and environmental audit programs for Zion Lodge include the National Park Service Concessions Environmental Audit Program, Marine Stewardship Council Certification program, EPA WasteWise Partner, Clean Utah! through the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and Green-e certified renewable energy purchases. Zion Lodge is a former winner of the Environmental Achievement Award from both the U.S. Department of the Interior and from the National Park Service in 2009 and has been recognized repeatedly for its efforts to protect the environment.

Zion Lodge is open year round and offers 82 rooms, 40 cabins, a restaurant, café and gift shop. Reservations can be made at www.zionlodge.com or by calling 1-303-29-PARKS (1-303-297-2757) or toll-free at 1-888-29-PARKS (1-888-297-2757).