Doyon/ARAMARK Joint Venture, Planet EVERgreen: Protecting and Preserving "The Last Frontier," Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, NPS.

Lilly Capell
Aramark, National Park Service Concessioner, Denali, AK
Phone: 907-978-3894
Email: capell-lilly@aramark.com


As the concessionaire at Denali National Park and Preserve, Doyon/ARAMARK operates with deep respect for the environment. Doyon/ARAMARK implemented PlanetEVERgreen, its Environmental Management System, certified to the ISO 14001:2004 standard. Doyon/ARAMARK excels in environmental management by setting documented measurable objectives and targets based on the 8 Pillars of Planet EVERgreen. Doyon/ARAMARK serves over 300,000 Park visitors each year and commits to teaching environmental stewardship to visitors and employees. Visitors participate in recycling on tour buses and there is a recycling bin in each employee housing unit. These two initiatives contributed over 250,000 lbs. of material being diverted from the landfill. Doyon/ARAMARK subscribes to Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program highlighting the sustainable Alaskan fisheries of salmon and halibut as well as providing 100 percent grass fed beef and organic produce. By establishing an environmentally preferable purchasing policy Doyon/ARAMARK reduces the rate of consumption of raw materials by purchasing recycled and remanufactured vehicle parts. Other programs demonstrate energy and resource conservation, solid waste reduction, and reduced harmful emissions by 70 percent. Implementation of Doyon/ARAMARK's ISO 14001:2004 certified EMS, PlanetEVERgreen helps protect and preserve one of America's great natural landscapes.

Detailed Description

To assist in protecting these lands for future generations Doyon/ARAMARK Denali National Park Concessionaire Joint Venture (Doyon/ARAMARK JV) has implemented PlanetEVERgreen, its Environmental Management System (EMS) that is internationally recognized by the International Standards Organization and certified each year to the ISO 14001:2004 standard. Doyon/ARAMARK Denali National Park Concession Joint Venture is the authorized concessionaire at Denali National Park and Preserve. The current concession contract was awarded to Doyon/ARAMARK Joint Venture in 2003 as a 10 year contract. As the concessionaire, Doyon/ARAMARK is a joint venture partnership between Doyon Limited and ARAMARK. Doyon Limited is one of thirteen Native regional corporations established by Congress under the terms of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).

In an effort to protect these resources for future generations, Congress has imposed road limits. All vehicles are allocated by category for entry between late May and mid September each season. As the concessionaire for the National Park Service at Denali National Park and Preserve, Doyon/ARAMARK supports these limits and provides over 75% of over-the-road bus transportation in Denali National Park, amounting to over 300,000 park visitors a year. The majority of visitors are transported into the Park by either one of two tour bus products or by the Park Shuttle, also known as the Visitor Transportation System. Through its tours and transportation services Doyon/ARAMARK assists the National Park Service in its mission by operating in an environmentally sensitive manner while enhancing the visitor experience, thereby promoting environmental stewardship at Denali National Park and Preserve.

Doyon/ARAMARK is committed to managing environmental matters as an integral part of its business and the 2005 season marked a stellar year for their environmental performance. The Planet EVERgreen program embodies the National Park Service's mission to preserve and protect the Denali environment and adheres to Doyon/ARAMARK's environmental policy principles of:

  • Relevancy and Appropriateness
  • Continual Improvement
  • Compliance
  • Objectives and Targets
  • Communication Outreach
  • Commitment

These principles are communicated to the public, employees, persons working on behalf Doyon/ARAMARK and the community at large through the 8 pillars of Planet EVERgreen (each is discussed in detail further in this document). The 8 pillars are:

  • Procurement and Purchasing
  • Interpretive Programs
  • Education and Training
  • Culinary Practices
  • Water and Energy Conservation
  • Transportation
  • Waste Management Reduction
  • Sustainable Building Design

Denali National Park and Preserve (DNP)

Denali National Park and Preserve (DNP) was established in 1917 as a wildlife reserve. The Park's 6.6 million acres resides in the Interior of Alaska and is home to 167 bird species, 39 mammals, 10 fish species and 1 amphibian, the wood frog. Denali's vastness can seem overwhelming with miles of tundra stretching out to meet rugged peaks on the horizon. Glacial streams dance down the distant mountains carving numerous channels. Splotches of color dot the landscape where tenacious wildflowers hug the ground like a colorful carpet. Within the shelter of the taiga, tundra and boreal forest lives moose, caribou, Dall sheep grizzly bears, snowshoe hares, wolves and lynx.

2005 Environmental Objectives and Targets

The EMS adheres to the rigorous ISO 14001:2004 guidelines and operates under a Plan, Do, Check, Act system. Measurable objectives and targets are set at the beginning of each season and through management review, compliance audits, internal self-assessments and the corrective action process objectives and targets are achieved. Objectives and targets are based on continual improvement and long term goals.

1. Aspect: Energy Consumption Objective: Conserve and track energy use Target: Replace washers with energy star water saving front loading machines. Replace electric driers with propane driers Install energy meters on all non-residential buildings by May 15th 2006 Measurable: Number of machines/appliances replaced Installation of energy meters

Results: Installation of 5 front loading washing machines and 5 propane driers.

2. Aspect: Dust, Leaks and Spills Objective: To reduce dust and one point contamination in the Bus Yard Target: To reduce the amount of dust in the localized area created by buses and vehicles on the dry gravel packed driving surfaces of the transportation facilities. Measurable: Paved bus yard

Results: From August 25-27th 2005 the bus yard was paved. Grading and drainage research was conducted such that storm water run-off is directed away from a navigable water source. In addition booms are placed at each of the drainage points to catch vehicular fluids. One point-contamination in bus yard reduced to zero.

3. Aspect: Environmental Sustainability in Retail Operations Objective: Increase the sales of Green Brand environmentally friendly products Target: Increase sales of Green Brand products by 50% over 2004 season Measurable: Sales and product numbers

Results: As well as diverting enough cotton from the landfill to sell 461 T-shirts, according to SanSegal this helps saves 1/3 lbs of agricultural chemicals that are used to make a single virgin cotton T-shirt. As of 9/15/05 461x1/3lbs =154lbs of agricultural chemicals saved.

Mercantile Green Brand Sales as of 9/15/2005

127% Increase in Product Items Sold over 2004 Season
134% Increase of Product Sales Over 2004 Season

127% Increase in Product Items Sold over 2004 Season
134% Increase of Product Sales Over 2004 Season

4. Objective: Reduce paper waste on buses

Target: Reduce paper towel usage 90% by substituting washable rages for paper towel use in defogging interior windows during trips. Run trials in August 2005 to work out logistics for 2006 implementation.


Results: Paper towel waste constituted a majority of the solid waste from the buses. In addition to reducing solid waste by running this pilot program in 2005 it also provided tour drivers another avenue to communicate environmental stewardship for America's National Parks to DNP visitors. Results from the rag experiment was positive and it will be implemented fully in 2006.

Please see results below:

From: Gerber, Matt Sent: Saturday, September 03, 2005 3:10 PM

To: Capell, Lilly Subject: RE: Rag results

I found the rags to be a success.

We initially started the program with 8 rags per bus and quickly learned it was not a sufficient number. We then went up to 20 rags per bus. The feedback received was that 20 was adequate and 26 (one per window) would be better. Findings of note:

1) Visitors were initially uncomfortable with the program. When the driver discussed the EMS and how it was benefiting the environment, passengers were much more receptive. Proof the program leads to good interpretive opportunities.

2) There were comments that they got gross after winding up on the floor. One suggestion which came up was either Velcro or a hanger mounted to the interior of the bus.

I believe the program to be successful and ready to implement in 2006.

Other 2005 Accomplishments Based on 8 Pillars of Planet EVERgreen

The Planet EVERgreen Mission Statement is "We, the employees of Doyon/ARAMARK Joint Venture, are committed to operating from a deep sense of love and respect for the planet in a manner that protects and restores our Nation's natural, cultural, and historical resources for enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations."

8 Pillars of Planet EVERgreen

Interpretive Program and Environmental Stewardship

As leaders in interpretation in 2005 Doyon/ARAMARK took its interpretive programs to new heights by certifying all natural and cultural interpreters as well as every Tundra Wilderness Tour driver and Denali Natural History Tour driver to the National Association for Interpretation's Certified Interpretive Guide program. In total, this amounted to about 60 or 20% of its employees. Doyon/ARAMARK has formally developed an interpretive program and has branded it Voices of Discovery. Voices of Discovery is the only program of this caliber to be rolled out by any NPS concessionaire. See Appendix 2 Voices of Discovery Prospectus.

Voices of Discovery is Doyon/ARAMARK's Interpretive Program. Utilizing the Best Practices of the interpretive profession, the program recognizes that places are portals for the discovery of meanings and that places also speak to us in many voices. Doyon/ARAMARK recognizes and understands the value effective resource interpretation has in creating memorable experiences for our Parks' visitors. Doyon/ARAMARK provides complete visitor experiences, that are effectively delivered resulting in commitments from stewardship to future business from Park Visitors. Doyon/ARAMARK goal is to create a win-win scenario not only for the visitor but for the National Park Service and other clients as well.

For the first time in 2005 Doyon/ARAMARK included environmental stewardship in their surveys to measure their effectiveness of resource interpretation and fostering environmental stewardship. The results of these surveys were impressive and demonstrate the effectiveness of interpretation towards fostering environmental stewardship. The question "The information given during the tour has changed my attitude towards the environment" was asked for both the Tundra Wilderness Tour and The Denali Natural History Tour. For the Tundra Wilderness Tour 47% of passengers agreed or strongly agreed that the tour had changed their attitude towards the environment. For the Denali Natural History Tour the percentage was even greater at 57%. Please see Appendix 3 for LRA survey results.

Doyon/ARAMARK also provides food and beverage services. The food court operated by the concessionaire, known as Morino Grill provides visitors with further interpretive opportunities by connecting visitors to the early cultural history of the park entrance area. The Park is rich in cultural history and Doyon/ARAMARK has taken an innovative approach to continue interpreting to visitors in an informal way by designing the table tops within the facility as informal interpretive exhibits in addition to also providing logistical signage and sustainability messages. The table-tops pictured below at Morino Grill are a collage of early 1900's photographs of the Park entrance area. The meals are themed to celebrate famous early Park pioneers and natural landmarks and table tents at each table give a brief interpretive explanation of each named dish. By taking these steps, the experience at Morino Grill is more than just providing a meal. It is also an experience celebrating the vital role early turn of the century roadhouses played as lifelines of the community. Please see Appendix 4 Morino Grill Table Tents.

Interpretive Table Tops at Morino Grill

Interpretive Table Tops at Morino Grill

Culinary Practices

In all food and beverage outlets from employee dining to the newly constructed Morino Grill Food Court Doyon/ARAMARK makes every effort to procure organic and locally grown food products. In addition, in their public outlets interpretive displays are placed on table-tops displaying their sustainable menu products and local history. This helps connect the visitor more to the land and the resource.

Morino Grill Table Tent for Text See Appendix 4

Morino Grill Table Tent for Text See Appendix 4

Being restricted by short growing seasons and limited pasture lands Doyon/ARAMARK goes out of its way to procure items that are easily accessible in the lower continental United States. However, unlike the grass fed, free range Hearst Ranch Beef that comes from California, being in Alaska Doyon/ARAMARK has access to one of the most successful and sustainable managed fisheries in the world. Using the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Program guidelines Doyon/ARAMARK serves only approved fish from this list-Alaskan Salmon and halibut that are harvested locally in Alaska. Also on the Morino Grill Menu is locally harvested reindeer meat from Indian, Alaska. Using local products helps reduce shipping cost and fuel consumption. With lower shipping cost Doyon/ARAMARK can commit stronger financially and while knowing that they are not adding to non-renewable resource consumption and global warming. Also new for the 2005 season is the addition of outside bear proof recycling containers for back-of-the-house recycling and what Doyon/ARAMARK has coined the "bomb proof grease shed".

Bear Proof Recycling Containers Used Grease Shed

Bear Proof Recycling Containers Used Grease Shed

The addition of the grease shed and changes in grease handling procedures yielded a spill free 2005 season. Previously grease was transferred outside into a 55 gallon drum through a cumbersome process; this often resulted in grease spillage on the outside of the container making the grease shed attractive to wildlife. Now the grease is cooled and transferred inside and placed into its original containers no longer requiring 55 gal drums. In 2004 the grease was shipped by truck approximately 300 miles where it was made into dog food. For 2005 season Doyon/ARAMARK was able to donate its used grease to be blended and used as bio-diesel. 195 gallons of used kitchen grease was turned into biodiesel. That's 195 gallons of petroleum products saved.

Education and Training

In order for Planet EVERgreen to be successful participation is needed on all levels. Extensive documented training for managers and employees is required from the District Manager level all the way down to each bus washer. Each person learns differently, Doyon/ARAMARK recognizes this and has employed many innovative strategies and Best Practices to ensure that each employee knows how their job interacts with the environment.

EMS training is done in several ways. Attached as Appendix 5 and 6 is a copy of the 2005 season manager and line employee orientation presentations. These are done three times with each mass arrival of employees, the orientation is taped so those employees who arrive between training sessions are still able to receive the same information. In safety and environmental training the EMS is covered going into depth how and why it is important to be socially responsible and why Doyon/ARAMARK as a company has voluntarily agreed to do this.

Each department has an EMS informational bulletin board. This information board explains the environmental policy of Doyon/ARAMARK, the aspects and impacts of each specific job , departmental objectives and targets and information on how and when to engage the corrective/preventive action process. Through training each employee is empowered to effect a positive change to the environment. Through an open communication process and an anonymous suggestion box in the employee dining room comments are collected and discussed during management review. The objective and target to reduce paper waste on buses was a result of such open communication. The pilot program for 2005 described earlier was successful and will be fully implemented in 2006.

Lastly, what good is training unless a little fun is involved? Doyon/ARAMARK uses innovative thinking and incentive programs to encourage their employees to learn and care about Denali National Park and Preserve and the earth. ISO Jeopardy and Bingo were developed to test the employee's knowledge of the concession's EMS including its environmental aspects and impacts and other ISO 14001:2004 and Planet EVERgreen requirements. See Appendix 7 for ISO Bingo flyer.

The most popular tool that Doyon/ARAMARK has developed is "The Recycled Toilet Paper." This is an original publication/newsletter that is placed on the back of all employee area bathroom doors. Besides the unusually catchy name this internal communication has spawned many discussions and ideas encouraging the open flow of information between line employees and management. See Appendix 8 for Recycled Toilet Paper examples.

Water and Energy Conservation

As natural resources are being consumed at a rapid rate it is important to focus on conserving water and energy. Doyon/ARAMARK is committed to protecting water quality and reducing energy consumption by using Energy Star-rated Appliances. In 2005 Doyon/ARAMARK replace two non-Energy Star rate copy machines with 2 Energy Star rated machines. As mentioned before Doyon/ARAMARK has been phasing out top-loading washing machines for front loading machines and electric driers for propane driers. In 2005 Doyon/ARAMARK replaced five washing machines and five driers. Operating under Doyon/ARAMARK's environmentally preferable purchasing policy they are committed to purchasing low flow toilets, low flow shower heads and waterless urinals. Also Doyon/ARAMARK is constantly striving to conserve energy and has replaced all incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lighting and by installing all T8 overhead fixtures.


Operating a fleet of over 100 buses and support vehicles Doyon/ARAMARK has made great strides to protect the environment by using innovative strategies and Best Practices in transportation. Doyon/ARAMARK has installed particulate air filters on its buses. These filters combine an oxidation catalyst and a particulate filter to reduce particulate matter and oxidize carbon monoxide and gaseous hydrocarbons reducing these harmful emissions by 70% when using low sulfur ( <500ppm) diesel in all its buses.

Vehicular dust is also a major environmental and health issue in Denali. The Park Road from mile 13 to mile 91 is unpaved and thus results in a lot of dust being kicked up by tires. Doyon/ARAMARK has two control measures to mitigate this impact. The first is 2005 NPS Environmental Achievement Award Application Doyon/ARAMARK Joint Venture-Denali National Park Concessionaires no dust speed. Shuttle and Tour drivers are restricted to a no dust speed when buses pass pedestrians on the Park Road. Secondly, Doyon/ARAMARK runs a low air pressure program on bus tires that is fully supported by the manufacturer, this program reduces degradation of the park road surface; thus reduces the amount of maintenance to the road. Additionally, by reducing the ground pressure of the tires it leaves the fines in the road surface and creates less dust. This program not only helps prevent unnecessary wear and tear on the road but also reduces the impact to the wildlife and vegetation in the area.

Exisiting Transportation Environmental programs and Best Practices:

Changing from Ethylene Glycol (Green) to Propylene Glycol (Blue) environmentally friendly antifreeze that is recycled and not attractive to animals.

Implementation of diesel particulate filtration system on some of the bus fleet.

Use of low sulfur diesel fuel in buses (<500ppm).

Installation of an oil filter crusher. This crusher reduces the oil filter size by 75% and extracts 95% of the residual oil. The residual oil is collected for furnace use. The filters are sent for scrap metal recycling.

Petroleum eating microbes are being used to clean up spills of petroleum-based fluids (based upon the circumstances and location of the spill).

Replacing and repairing of dispensing systems for petroleum based fluids (Diesel, Unleaded gasoline, Propane, Engine Oil, Gear Oil, ATF, Grease). Systems reduce the potential for drips, spills and excess handling in the bus shop.

SmartWasher Parts Cleaning System (Ozzy Washer), which eliminates the use of flammable solvents and hazardous disposal requirements from the shop. This parts cleaner is a natural bioremediation system that is non-toxic, non-hazardous, nonflammable and non-caustic. The SmartWasher system is USDA and AQMD certified.

Use of bulk packaging for petroleum based fluids, antifreeze, cleaners and other shop related solutions.

Spill prevention measures. Each year, improvements are made to the effort to prevent environmental contamination by the bus maintenance operation. This includes containment; re-evaluation of products being used vs. what is available on the market, and improving methods of and training for spill prevention and cleanup.

Continuing education for Hazwoper certification, engine and vehicle maintenance. We currently have two 40-hour and one 24-hour; there are two more people scheduled for training. Use of garden carts (man-powered wagon) to reduce vehicle traffic on trails.

Pre-positioning of "Crew Spill Kits" along the Park Road - Locations: Savage River, Teklanika, Toklat, Eielson Visitor Center and Wonder Lake trailers. These kits include tools and supplies for major spills.

Vehicle Spill Kits. All non-administrative vehicles are equipped with a universal spill kit capable of collecting up to 3-gallons of any petroleum or glycol based solution.

Purchase of bicycles for employee use, reducing the need for additional vehicles and fossil fuel use.

A Happy Doyon/ARAMARK Employee Enjoying Their Company Vehicle

A Happy Doyon/ARAMARK Employee Enjoying Their Company Vehicle

Sustainable Building Design

Planet EVERgreen requires that sustainable building design is incorporated into all new facilities that Doyon/ARAMARK is responsible for constructing. To date this includes Riley Creek Mercantile, Sugarloaf and Murie Dining Halls, Morino Grill Food Court and the Denali Bookstore. These new facilities have regional architectural character ties to NPS architectural traditions, low volatile organic compounds, biodegradable tectum ceiling panels made from aspen fibers, wheat board interior wall finish material, nontoxic mastics and sealants, and Tirex (recycled tires) flooring in the entry ways. In addition, each was designed with energy conservation rated fixtures and heating systems and sustainable wood products. Bamboo was used as the flooring for the Riley Creek Mercantile and locally grown and harvested spruce was used for exterior and interior wood finishes. Please see Appendix 9 for architectural/sustainable design features.

Procurement and Purchasing

A product's life cycle starts when raw material are extracted from the earth, followed by manufacturing, transport and use, and ends with waste management including recycling and final disposal. At every stage of the life cycle there are emissions and consumption of resources. In Denali National Park and Preserve, Doyon/ARAMARK strives to address all environmental impacts associated with the entire life cycle of products and services used at each facility. Doyon/ARAMARK has developed a Best Practice for purchasing with the implementation of its Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy. This policy was developed to carefully select products and services for use, consumption and resale that minimizes the impact on the environment. Please see Appendix 10 Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy

The 2005 season brought about great examples of continual improvement in our EMS for example:

  • Eliminated the purchase of Teflon coated uniforms
  • Front-loading Energy Star rated washing machines
  • Propane driers
  • Replacement of two copy machines with Energy Star Rated duplexing machines
  • Easy-nap napkin dispensers
  • Magnetic silverware catchers
  • EarthshellT Food Wraps
  • Increase in Green Brand retail products
  • Recycling bins for employee housing
  • Animal proof used grease shed
  • Bear proof recycling containers

Waste Management and Reduction

The impact of waste is local and global. In 2005 Doyon/ARAMARK celebrated a 26% increase in materials recycled. Some of the increase is contributed to the addition of recycling bins in every individual employee housing unit. Even though recycling is often the most visible thing that Doyon/ARAMARK can do it is only a small part to what they are doing to minimize our impact on the environment. The first step to waste management thinking is if it isn't bought it does not need to be disposed of. Therefore they are constantly improving by complying with the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy.

Items that Doyon/ARAMARK Reuses: Oxygen Welding Gas Bottles Acetylene Welding Gas Bottles Argon Welding Gas Bottles Fire Extinguishers

Items used that have been remanufactured or built with recycled material: Chlorine-free recycled content office paper Cups, Hot Drink Paper Paper Towels Toilet Paper Toner Cartridges for printers

Bus Shop Items: Alternators Batteries, Lead Acid Brake Air Compressors, Bus Brake Calipers Brake Desiccant Cartridges, Bus Brake Shoes, Bus Engines Exhaust Turbo Boosters Fuel Injectors Fuel Injection Pumps Power Steering Pumps Shop Rags Starters Steering Gears, Bus Transmissions

2005 NPS Environmental Achievement Award Application Doyon/ARAMARK Joint Venture-Denali National Park Concessionaires Water Pumps

Items that the facility recycles:

  • Office Paper Aluminum: Soda cans Scrap Metal: Brake drums, used radiators, and other non-aluminum
  • based metals Plastic: Water, soda and milk containers Cardboard: Some is used internally for warehousing and cores
  • shipping. All remaining cardboard is sent to the recycling
  • center. Packing Peanuts: Sent to Retail for reuse Diesel Fuel: From fuel filters, collected for furnace use Engine Oil: Collected for furnace use ATF: Automatic Transmission Fluid, collected for furnace use Gear Oil: Collected for furnace use Antifreeze: Delivered to an authorized reclaiming collection facility Tire Casings: Used tire casings are sold back to the vendor for re-treading
  • and resale for use on trailer axles
  • Used oil and Diesel filters: Oil filters are crushed and drained, Diesel filters are drained, both are sent to Emerald recycling in Anchorage for shipment to a recycling facility in Seattle.
  • Florescent light tubes: Sent back to the manufacturer for recycling.

2005 Recycling Report: Aluminum -2,053 Cardboard -160,772 Office Paper -Included in Mixed Mixed Paper -31,204 (Newspaper included in mixed paper) Plastic #1 -5,614 Plastic #2 -4,651 Glass -41,300 Tin Cans -4,870

Total: 250,478 pounds

Overall, this is a 26% increase in total volume from 2004 and a very notable effort. Most significant increases were in #1 & #2 plastics, glass and cardboard. This is due to an increase of recycling bins, including every employee housing unit, employee and public education.

A total of 195 gallons of used kitchen grease was recycled into bio-diesel.

Regulated Waste Manifest for Biohazard/Medical Waste Disposal records indicate: Gauze, used dressings, sharps = 21 pounds c/o Interior Community Health Clinic, Healy and B&P Waste Services Inc., Fbks

Mercury Waste Solutions: Flourescent Lamps 288 - 4ft bulbs 30 --8ft bulbs

Solid Waste Disposal records:

Campgrounds, Riley & Savage

Riley Creek Merc & RV Dump

Bus Shop/Emp. Housing & Dining

Total: 2353 cu. yds

Awaiting transport to Fairbanks North Star Bourough for recycle are:

22-Motorola ni-cad battery packs

32-Sealed lead acid battery packs

20 lbs - Alkaline Batteries

Other Bus Shop contributions to the effort:

215 Bus and automotive batteries returned to vendors Napa and Interstate battery for recycling

90 Radio batteries Sealed

50 brake shoes returned to vendor for relining and re-use

9 55gal drums of propylene glycol recycled

4 55gal drums of crushed fuel filters

213 Bus and automotive tires returned to vendor, Arctic Tire for recycling


U.S. Department of the Interior

Greening of the Interior