targhee_logo-sm.jpgLast week Grand Targhee Resort announced that its food and beverage operation is shifting more focus to sustainable products and practices. While they had already turned to such things as cornstarch based disposables, they quickly found that the rising cost of fuel and corn was negatively affecting their ability to affordably use those products. So, according to their press release, they are taking a holistic approach to their F&B environmental practices.

What’s interesting is how a back-to-basics approach underlies some of the effort here. They are eschewing the disposal components that many companies embrace in cost-cutting efforts and turning to things we all take for granted, such as metal flatware, reusable cups for both soft drinks and coffee, and bulk dispensers for condiments.

According to their Food & Beverage Director, Jeff Stockholm,

“Replacing disposable products with reusables throughout the Resort should reduce expenses by approximately $2,000 a month and reduce our waste stream by about five percent.”

While it’s easy to say that such a response could be seen as a way to help put a positive spin on what may be turning out to be negative public opinion in the wake of their major expansion approval, my guess is that this is something happening internally and not influenced by other corporate actions. But there’s no doubt little Targhee is growing by leaps and bounds and hopefully we’ll hear more proclamations such as this as expansion plans come to fruition.

Also worth pointing out is that their environmental record as reported by the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition could use some improvement. Grand Targhee earned a not-so-stellar C for 2007/08. But to be fair, according to the report, Targhee was docked most of its points because of real estate development that not only hasn’t happened, but hadn’t even been approved at the time of scoring. The SACC is known—rightly or wrongly—for heavily weighting development in their reports and has unfortunately taken a PR hit of their own because of it. From what I’ve seen, many mountain resorts these days don’t put much weight in what the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition has to say about them.

If you would like more information on Grand Targhee Resort’s environmental practices, please visit the sustainability section of their site at http://www.grandtarghee.com/the-mountain/environment/