Yellowstone Business Partnership Assessor Training in Grand Teton Mountains, Wyoming

Grand Targhee Resort on the western front of the Grand Teton Mountains in Wyoming was the host for the most recent STEP Assessor & Consultant Training Course, held November 27 - December 2, 2012. We were welcomed with lots of fresh snow and experienced several days of engaging discussions and networking opportunities. The training was sponsored by the Yellowstone Business Partnership (YBP), which brought together 15 regional sustainability professionals for an experiential training program focused on sustainability management systems.

The STEP Assessor & Consultant Training is a flagship course within the globally recognized Sustainable Tourism Education Program (STEP). STEP is an incremental and systematic approach to sustainability, which offers businesses an innovative set of tools for education, assessment, benchmarking, and reporting known as the STEP Sustainability Framework.

The 15 professionals who attended this course are now fully trained in all aspects of implementing and assessing the STEP standard using the online STEP technology. Participants went through several training exercises before conducting a live on-site assessment of the host facility (Grand Targhee Resort Accommodations). This applied learning approach allows participants to witness the operational realities of sustainability best practices as consultants and as assessors.

Course work focused on ways to integrate the STEP standard and framework in real world situations.The course prepared participants to help tourism businesses assess their operations, identify low-hanging opportunities, plot a sustainability road map, and prepare for eco-certification.

Grand Targhee Resort was a wonderful host and exceeded the group’s expectations with regards to sustainability best practices. The resort accommodation excels in areas like employee sustainability training, employee giving back programs, mountain ecology interpretation programs, waste management, and health & safety. The assessment focused only on the resort’s accommodations, though it is clear that its mountain and ski operations can also achieve eco-certification in the very near future.

Sustainable Travel International is pleased to be a strategic partner of the Yellowstone Business Network, working together to create tangible change in the region’s travel and tourism industry. Nearby Teton County recently participated in the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) Destination Criteria Early Adopter program, and the region is demonstrating significant global leadership in sustainable destination management. We look forward to further collaboration in support of these efforts.

 

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