The Elk Refuge Inn is the first business in Jackson Hole to reach the Business Emerald Sustainability Tier (BEST) level of sustainability performance. The standards in the BEST program are comparable to the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive environmental, community, and economic sustainability criteria for businesses.
The BEST program was created to provide an opportunity and platform for those Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (RRR) Business Leaders that want to elevate their sustainability practices to higher levels of environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic vitality.
Monay Olson, Owner of the Shine Group (including the Elk Refuge Inn) states “Creating a positive impact is our core value and we action this in many measurable ways. However, as a small hotel with limited resources we were concerned in our ability to achieve BEST status. The tools and resources provided by the Riverwind Foundation are outstanding. The process of achieving BEST is much more than a badge. It’s learning that the implementation of numerous initiatives add to delivering a powerful impact to the achievement of sustainability. But we’re just one business, we’d love to share our story to help others.”
The Elk Refuge Inn was assessed and certified on September 18th by the Riverwind Foundation, the originator and administrator of the BEST program. The Elk Refuge Inn began their sustainability journey in the BEST program in December 2017. Under Monay Olson and Chad Sheldon’s leadership, the Elk Refuge Inn trained and engaged staff to implement their Sustainable Tourism Management Plan.
Highlights of their environmental sustainability initiatives include an evaluation of their supply chain, a comprehensive waste management and recycling program underpinning their road to zero waste, purchasing green energy from Lower Valley Energy, being 86% better than similar businesses in reducing its carbon emissions, installation of low-flow water conservation fixtures throughout the property, and collecting rain water for outdoor potted plants.
The Elk Refuge Inn’s strengths in community sustainability include participating in sustainability programs, supporting local community organizations and encouraging staff and guests to do so, and promoting locally produced goods and services.