As part of the Cultural, Heritage/Agritourism Mentor Program (CHAMP), Project Azul Verde (PAV) and Mountain Goat Lodge (MGL) aimed to review the Lodge’s sustainable business operations to decrease environmental impacts and further leverage sustainability leadership as a competitive advantage. Organizations that have sustainable business cultures outperform those that do not. They attract better staff, establish reliable supply chains, avoid costly controversies with communities, engage in more innovations, and focus on long-term strategy. With a focus on responsible tourism, PAV connects sustainability benefits specifically to the hospitality industry: sustainability best resonates with guests when their experience is improved, such as with a more authentic, unique, or quality hotel stay.
We assessed current sustainability practices; measured resource use; outlined an improvement action plan; drafted strategies for adding to existing efforts; and created marketing materials to engage guests, involve the community, and promote our work.
Specific project wins are highlighted here, demonstrating the value of sustainability in business improvement.
Sustainable Sourcing Communicated as A Unique Agritourism Experience
Project Azul Verde developed a sign showing how the lodge’s sustainable sourcing translates into a unique agritourism offering. The sign emphasizes how the onsite operations not only provide fresh and local materials, but calls out this very special, unique, and authentic guest experience. These table tents are displayed on breakfast tables, giving guests a glimpse of why their food is so delicious as well as a preview of the activities where they can participate later in the day.
Increased Understanding of Supplier Sustainability
Through Project Azul Verde’s Supplier Scoring Tool, we learned that a key supplier lacked basic sustainability management. As a result, whenever possible MGL will make purchases with another supplier (especially from other suppliers which scored higher on the assessment).
Waste Reduction with Guest Room Hydration Revamp
Guest room hydration revamp eliminated extra cup washing, disposable cups, and disposable plastic covering. Waste eliminated per guest night: 2 disposable cups and 5 disposable plastic wrap bags. Also streamlined from 4 cups to 2 cups, cutting down on room clean up time and costs. While we focused on non-recyclable single use plastic cups in guest rooms, this mini waste assessment provided insights on how small changes can add up.
Resource Conservation Sign
Project Azul Verde developed signage to further engage guests in the joint effort to reduce resource use. The lodge seeks to educate guests in taking part to conserve Salida’s resources while keeping it fun on vacation. The leader of the goat heard that guests met and pet in the pasture continues the branding and delivers the message.
Water Leak Detected with Water Tracking Tool
We quantified the environmental footprint for waste, water, energy by using PAV’s tracking tools, utility bills, and usage statements. By becoming more aware of water use by tracking monthly water meter readings, a leak in the fish pond was detected and patched. This saved both water and money and demonstrates the value of resource monitoring.
Contact Project Azul Verde to Improve Your Sustainability Management.
More about Mountain Goat Lodge: MGL provides a unique agritourism experience and leverages sustainable business operations to best connect guests to nature. Gina and D’Arcy Marcell are the owners of MGL and are continually inspired to find ways new to improve what they do, reduce their resource use, and communicate their story. The goats, hens, and greenhouse at the inn offer guests an additional opportunity for a unique agritourism experience.