Leaving a Smaller Carbon Footprint


As the leader in providing a holistic, integrative health and wellness experience, Canyon Ranch strives to develop a harmonious balance with the natural world while delivering a superior guest experience.… Implementing robust recycling and renewable resource programs, we endeavor to create a footprint that is green and friendly to the world around us.

– Canyon Ranch Corporate Sustainability Mission Statement

Sustainability on the Road with All the Comforts of Home

At home, balancing comfort and environmental responsibility can be as easy as turning off a light or adjusting the thermostat down a few degrees. On the road, it’s a bit more of a challenge. That’s part of the reason Canyon Ranch does what it can to ease such concerns as part of its sustainability efforts.

Company-wide, Canyon Ranch has a robust commitment to promoting environmental as well as individual health. Efforts include comprehensive recycling programs, use of “green” paints, building materials and cleaning products, low-water-use landscaping and local purchasing efforts (particularly for produce).

One of the largest solar installations by a private business in southern Arizona sits atop the Spa at Canyon Ranch in Tucson. The 34-kilowatt array – installed in 2007 and visible only from a few vantage points around the property – produces 4,420 kwh of power and reduces the resort’s carbon footprint by 9,843 pounds of CO2 each month.

Tucson has achieved another quiet environmental victory with a reconfigured, more efficient laundry system – a significant improvement for a resort in the desert.

“In 2007, we used 2.8 million gallons of water,” says Doug Wilson, Director of Compliance & Sustainability. “In 2008, because of our new protocol, we reduced that by nearly two-thirds. The initiative was so successful that we’re starting to make similar changes to the laundries at all the other properties.”

Staff is working hard to cut down on electricity use, as well. Lighting at the resorts is being retrofitted – Lenox has replaced more than 570 20-watt halogen bulbs with 3- and 4-watt LED lights in the last year. Another important initiative there is upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems with variable-speed fans and blowers controlled by sensors that monitor CO2 levels. Part of the resort has been converted to these sophisticated systems, with more changes to come in 2011. When completed, the upgrade is expected to save 34,000 kwh and 37,000 pounds of CO2 a year. Overall energy consumption at Canyon Ranch in Lenox dropped by about 20% from 2005 to 2009.

The Ranch’s newer ventures, including Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach, have been built or remodeled to current green standards. At Canyon Ranch SpaClub® day spa in Las Vegas, recycling is the norm, while larger sustainability efforts are driven by The Venetian® and the Palazzo® (the hotels that house SpaClub®). The company that owns the hotels is considering installing solar panels to offset energy demands.

Each Canyon Ranch property works with local environmental organizations and charities whenever possible. For example, partly used bottles of shampoo, bars of soap and rolls of toilet paper are donated to worthy local organizations such as women’s shelters and programs for the homeless.

Much of this effort is to the credit of staff Green Teams, which identify environmental initiatives, coordinate sustainability efforts and educate staff about them. One innovative Green Team effort in Tucson this year was a shoe drive: Staff donated more than 350 pounds of used footwear to a Tucson-based humanitarian aid and recycling agency for distribution to the needy.

From rescuing partly used travel-sized room amenities to installing computerized air-handling systems, Canyon Ranch staff and leadership keep coming up with new ways to make the company a leader in environmental sensitivity – and common sense.