Blanketing 900 acres of a region blessed with natural attributes, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa holds deep roots as an environmental partner while achieving new heights in eco-hospitality.
In 2010, the Resort introduced an Environmental Management System minimize environmental impacts on our property. Led by the Green Committee—a volunteer group of Resort employees committed to eco-stewardship—the Resort has implemented dozens of programs to protect and preserve the surrounding environment. The following items have been put in place for resource conservation during the last decade and continue to be a part of standard operating procedures.
The Green Committee
This volunteer group of Resort employees is tasked with the planning, organization, and execution of green initiatives across the property. Each year, the Green Committee also participates in Adopt a Highway (US 31), Adopt a Stream (Acme Creek), and Adopt a Beach (Bayside Park and Resort beaches). Furthermore, the Green Committee hosts a weeklong celebration leading up to Earth Day and sponsors a recycled art contest in November in honor of America Recycles Day.
- In 2013, electric vehicle charging stations were added. They are regularly maintained and updated to service new vehicle types, including Tesla vehicles.
- In 2016, the Resort replaced an aging boiler with a Micro CHP (Combined Heat and Power) unit, which has an engine that runs on natural gas to generate electricity with useful heat—clean hot water—as a by-product of cooling the engine. The Micro CHP is estimated to save up to $20,000 in electric energy each year, and received an EPA certificate of approval for commercial emission standards.
- In 2017–2018, LED lighting was installed throughout the Resort property.
Hotel and Housekeeping Efforts
- Recycling bins are in rooms, offices, meeting spaces, and common areas for the collection and recycling of paper, cardboard, and #1-7 plastics throughout the Resort.
- Guests are provided with a linen reuse option.
- The four primary cleaning products used by housekeeping are green certified and waste bags are bio-degradable.
- Housekeeping participates with a company called TerraCycle, which pays one penny for each empty shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bottle. Twice a year, that money is donated to local groups such as the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay, the TART Trail, and others.
- Food waste is collected at the clubhouse and all hotel food & beverage outlets for composting by a local non-profit recycler, Bay Area Recycling for Charities; approximately 100 tons annually.
- Bay Area Recycling for Charities helps recycle hard-to-recycle materials such as mattresses and Styrofoam.
- Most plastic bottles and cans are collected and sorted from golf course waste bins for either return for deposit or recycling.
- All scrap metal, (steel, copper, aluminum and brass), is taken to a local recycling center.
Golf and Grounds Efforts
- Certified as a Michigan Turf-grass Environmental Steward, the Resort was lauded by the Environmental Institute for Golf for retrofitting maintenance equipment with recycled catalytic converters.
- Buffer zones have been established surrounding most waterways with a minimum width of 3–5 feet ranging to well over 100 feet. In 2009, an additional 30 acres were designated as no mow zones, allowing these areas to become naturalized.
- An on-site composting program has been established to capture plant waste and reuse it for various projects as topsoil.
- Eco-friendly hydraulic oil is used in all mowing equipment.
- Three tractors were equipped with emission reducing exhaust systems in 2007. • Native plants, trees, and grasses have been utilized in ornamental beds and lawn areas during any new landscaping.
- Native rocks and boulders have been utilized in landscape areas rather than manufactured concrete products during any renovations to landscape areas.
- An herb garden was created to source herbs used by Resort dining venues.
- 2015: "Keep Michigan Beautiful Award"
- 2012: Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program - Legacy Property
- 2011: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council Business of the Year
- 2011: Green Lodging Michigan: Leader Certification
- 2008: Green Lodging Michigan: Leader Certification
- 2006: Michigan Turf-grass Environmental Stewardship Program - Certified Environmental Steward
- 1998: Golf Course Superintendents Association of America - Environmental Stewardship Award
- 1997: Audubon International: Cooperative Sanctuary Certification
- 1995: Traverse Area Recreational Trail: 2.5 Acres Wetlands Mitigation
- 1992: Michigan Chamber of Commerce: Environmental Quality Award
- 1989: Michigan Recycling Coalition: Business Recycler of the Year
- 1982: Michigan Outdoor Writers: Clean Waters Award
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Reuniting at the Resort
“It’s a beautiful place to reconnect and build close ties to those we love in one of the most spectacular places in Michigan.”
—Lori, Leaver family reunion