Great Wolf Lodge's Project Green Wolf

by Ed Forteau /
Ed Forteau's picture
May 26, 2009 / 3 comments

We've recently reviewed the Wisconsin Dells location of Great Wolf Lodge. We were so impressed with their green initiatives that we'd like to share their Project Green Wolf FAQs with our readers. This sort of hotel program is unique and so very important. While traveling, remember to ask about green initiatives, whether it is from hotels, transportation, etc. As Great Wolf Lodge shows, going green can be fun! As part of Project Green Wolf,guests (and kids) are educated about the importance of conservation, recycling, and more. 


Here's some great information from Great Wolf Lodge on their Project Green Wolf:

FAQ’s and Facts: How Great Wolves Became “Green Wolves”

What is Green Seal?

Green Seal is a 20-year-old, independent, non-profit organization dedicated to creating a more sustainable world.  Green Seal created rigorous, science-based criteria for the lodging industry, which includes nearly 30 environmentally responsible components required for a hotel.  Check out their website at

Why all the fuss about the certification?
Getting this coveted certification is no easy task, as evidenced by the small number of hotels nationwide that have it.  Green Seal created an unbiased standard for the lodging industry, known as GS-33, which encompasses almost 30 environmentally responsible components required by a hotel—recycling, energy conservation, water conservation, socially responsible purchasing, to name a few.  Meeting these requirements means our resorts are substantially reducing our environmental impact and practicing sustainable leadership.

How does this relate to Great Wolf Resort’s Project Green Wolf program?
Great Wolf Resorts created its Project Green Wolf program as an umbrella for all the eco-friendly initiatives at our resorts.  Project Green Wolf’s mission is to play a leading role in conserving our planet for future generations by educating and establishing green traditions for both our guests and pack members.  We’re proud that we developed such a comprehensive program that we are able to receive third-party certifications such as Green Seal's.

What's really involved in earning Green Seal certification?
Although we are celebrating our Green Seal Silver Certification, we are serious and committed in our ongoing goal towards sustainable, eco-friendly and socially responsible practices.  Here is just a summary of the criteria we had to meet in order to receive this prestigious certification.  (You can also read a full overview of the GS-33 requirements at Green Seal's web site).

Management of Fresh Water Resources
1.    Showerheads, faucets and aerators use low-flow, water-conserving fixtures or retrofits.  We also use waterless urinals in our men’s public restrooms.
2.    Exterior landscaping uses local plants and watering is scheduled to retain maximum water.
3.    Sidewalks are swept instead of washed.
4.    We have a strong guest linen reuse program that saves water by eliminating unnecessary laundering.   
5.    Our laundry facility is equipped with the very latest technology, allowing us to recycle up to 70 percent of the water it uses.
6.    In addition to Green Seal requirements, we developed our own waterpark standards:
•    Our waterpark filtration systems use 80 to 90 percent less water than traditional filters.  
•    We mechanically control the humidity and temperatures in the park so there’s very little water loss from evaporation.
•    We recover most of our water, filter it, treat it, and return it to the waterpark.  Our systems are considered to be the most effective and complete in the world.
•    Because of our advanced filters, the water we use contains the lowest amount of chlorine possible, while staying within the recommended local and state guidelines.  Less chlorine in the pools means less chlorine released into the environment.  

Waste Minimization, Reuse and Recycling
1.    We have co-mingled recycling bins in all public areas, guest rooms, and employee areas.
2.    Amenities (soap, shampoo, etc.) are packaged in recyclable materials and unused portions are donated to charity when possible.
3.    We’re committed to recycling and we use only recycled paper at our resorts.  
4.    Resort uses double-sided copying.
5.    Products are purchased in bulk, such as concentrated cleaning products.

Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Management
1.    In-room, office, and heating/air conditioning equipment is either already energy-efficient, or on schedule to be replaced with energy-efficient equipment.
2.    Our lighting uses only energy-efficient bulbs.
3.    Systems and appliances are on a preventative maintenance schedule.
4.    Energy-efficient windows are used as windows are replaced.
5.    Programmable on/off timers and/or sensors are used for lighting and HVAC in low traffic and low occupancy areas.

Waste Water Management
1.    Chlorinated chemicals are used only where there is no less toxic alternative.
2.    Automatic dishwashing detergent is biodegradable and does not contain NTA, a harmful water softener, or chlorine bleach.
3.    Laundry detergents and cleaning products are non-phosphate, nontoxic and biodegradable, and used in concentrated liquid or powder form.
4.    Organic insecticides, fertilizers and biocides (used for pesticides and antimicrobials) are being researched.

Hazardous Substances
1.    Hazardous substances are being replaced with less hazardous alternatives.
2.    Chemical storage and mixing areas have appropriate space, plumbing and ventilation.
3.    Storage containers are clearly marked and property uses spill containment measures.
4.    Architectural paint does not contain heavy metals or toxic organic substances.

Environmentally and Socially Sensitive Purchasing Policy
1.    Hotel has established an environmental purchasing policy led by a steering committee.
2.    Printing and writing papers contain a minimum of 30 percent postconsumer material content or tree-free fiber content; coated paper contains a minimum of 10 percent postconsumer material content or tree-free fiber content.
3.    Toilet tissue is made from at least 20 percent recycled fibers; facial tissue from at least 10 percent recycled fibers; and napkins and paper towels from at least 40 percent recycled fibers.
4.    Durable goods are of sufficient quality to allow reuse, refinishing and/or reupholstering.
5.    Products such as paints and cleaning products meet Green Seal's low VOC guidelines.  (VOCs are volatile organic compounds, and can result in air pollution.)
6.    Preference is given to suppliers who provide reusable packaging and shipping pallets.
7.    Preference is given to environmentally responsible service suppliers.



For more information, please see:

Comments (3)

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    14 years 11 months ago

    ed  - i sure was impressed with great wolf lodge's environmental actions. talk abt sustainable tourism!


    Jessie Voigts, PhD


  • Lisa Spurlock

    14 years 11 months ago

    Great Wolf Lodges are great! We've stayed at a couple of different ones and had delightful stays. I first found them at and based on their evironmental initiatives decided that it was where I wanted to go.

  • Janis Rodgers

    14 years 11 months ago

    We are planning a trip to the Wisconsin Dells this winter and the Great Wolf Lodge is one that we are considering.  I found this lodge at first, but this additional information makes me even more sure that I want to stay at this lodge.  Thanks for the additional information about their green practices! 

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