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  • Certifications & Awards

ISO 14001
Xanterra maintains ISO 14001 certification for its “Our Softer Footprint” environmental management systems (EMS). Xanterra’s EMS drives environmental achievement through corporate environmental policy and an organizational commitment to achieve greater sustainability. In 2019 Xanterra also earned ISO 9001 certification for its Quality Management System which ensures excellent guest service and compliments the EMS.

In May, 2020, Xanterra was awarded LEED Platinum for the concession building at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), developed by the U.S.Green Building Council (USGBC), is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and an international symbol of excellence. This is a prestigious validation of Xanterra’s sustainability programs, exceptional maintenance practices, focus on environmental protection, and commitment to the health of visitors and employees. Some of the efforts that lead to this distinction include efficient LED lighting that minimizes light pollution, 34% less water consumption and 61% less electricity consumption than a typical building, over 50% electricity generated by an on-site solar array, over 50% waste diversion from the landfill, green cleaning, and local food production.

LEED for Operations and Maintenance (O+M) evaluates plans, procedures, and performance and the way that existing buildings are used, maintained, and renovated. Performance is scored in categories including location and transportation, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation. With over 49,300 certified buildings in 178 countries, LEED has transformed the global building industry over the past twenty years and shifted it toward more efficient, healthy, and comfortable buildings. There are fewer than 7,000 LEED O+M projects in the world and fewer than 700 that have achieved the highest possible level, Platinum. Only 16 projects in the US have achieved LEED O+M Platinum certification under the current version 4, which has been in place for several years. This is the first building to achieve LEED O+M Platinum in South Dakota or in a US National Park unit. Learn more about our LEED certification here.

Xanterra Travel Collection® is also a proud member of the USGBC.

Green Restaurant 4-Star Green Restaurant Certified
Carvers’ Café at Mount Rushmore has been a 3-star Certified Green Restaurant ® since 2013, but in 2019 it achieved the highest level of certification, 4-stars. This is a recognition from the Green Restaurant Association (GRA) of achievements in categories such as sourcing sustainable food, conserving water and energy, minimizing chemical pollution, and reducing waste through recycling. Xanterra is proud to offer great food, quality service, and green piece-of mind to our customers. By dining with us, you’re reducing your own environmental impact!

Of over one thousand restaurants that have achieved green restaurant certification, Carvers’ Cafe has the 2nd highest GreenPoints™ score, making it the 2nd greenest restaurant in North America! Carvers’ Café is also the first 4-star Certified Green Restaurant® in South Dakota, the second in the national park system, and the 33rd in the country.

With the development of new parking structure management, programming, design, and technology, Xanterra is pursuing the Parksmart certification, which distinguishes forward-thinking parking facilities that create a sustainable mobility network.

Thomas Jefferson Solar Canopy
In January 2019, Xanterra completed a 356 kW photovoltaic (PV) array on the top level of the parking structure. It generates over half of the electricity used annually in the restaurant and gift shop. More information and real-time generation graphs are available here. In 2019, it was the second largest solar project in South Dakota and won several awards:

  • 2018 SunPower Intelegant Award for Excellence, recognizing exceptionally well designed and installed commercial solar projects
  • “Coolest Carport” by Solar Builder magazine’s Best Projects of the Year in 2019
  • “Act of Excellence” by the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 2019


  • Pennington County Fair: Awarded several blue ribbons for produce from the Presidential Garden every year 2017-2019
  • Our Softer Footprint: Xanterra internally awards the “Our Softer Footprint” trophy to the property with the largest annual reduction in resources consumption. 2016 & 2019
  • National Park Service – Environmental Achievement Award: 2013
  • US Department of the Interior, Environmental Achievement Award – Pollution Prevention: 2002