The Evergreen Lodge is a new type of company called a social enterprise, which has social and environmental goals in addition to its business goals.
While the Evergreen seeks to offer the richest, most memorable all-around hospitality experience in Yosemite, it is our non-business goals – our desire for positive, long-term impact on our community and environment – that most set us apart.
Behind the scenes at the lodge, we operate and fully self-fund an employment program serving high-potential young adults from urban backgrounds who work in various departments at the lodge as paid seasonal interns.
The youth in our program leave the city and their normal lives behind and come to live and work in the mountains. Not only do they learn a specific trade, they are also able to live in a supportive community and enjoy outdoor experiences that challenge, motivate and inspire them. During their non-work hours, our interns receive assistance from our full time program staff in planning their next career and educational steps.
Our commitment to our youth program stems from two central beliefs:
- Supportive employment can help young people build momentum in their lives and realize their fullest potential.
- The outdoors in general, and places like Yosemite in particular, should be accessible to everyone.
Our Youth Program is central to what we do at the Evergreen, and we are proud to have operated the program since we acquired the Lodge in 2002. Our work is more rewarding as a result of our Youth Program, and our guests can feel good knowing that, by staying with us, they are helping young people to gain experience they would not otherwise have access to.
We are proud to be stewards of this special property and of the Yosemite area, and we have established a variety of environmental goals that guide how we operate the Evergreen. Our priorities include:
- Local Sourcing – purchasing from local, organic farms, working with local artisans, hiring local staff and landscaping with native plants
- Energy Conservation – utilizing low flow water fixtures, gray water recycling, solar heating and high efficiency lighting
- Waste Reduction – implementing a grass roots recycling program and using eco-friendly cleaning products and compostable cups/packaging
- Environmental Education – educating guests, staff and the community about Yosemite environmental issues and conservation
We have made significant investments in support of our environmental goals, including developing the county’s first commercial gray water system, which allows us to reuse over one million gallons of shower and laundry water each year for landscape irrigation.
As a result of our balanced priorities, the Evergreen was certified as a founding B Corporation in 2007. B Corps are a relatively new form of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corps are designed for long term sustainability, putting the health of our communities, environment and staff on the same level as the health of the bottom line.
B Corps are certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. B Corp certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. Today, there is a growing community of more than 4,500 Certified B Corps from 79 countries and over 150 industries working together toward one unifying goal: to redefine success in business. Other B Corps you may recognize include Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Method, Plum Organics and Revolution Foods.
You can learn more about B Corps by visiting www.bcorporation.net.
The Evergreen’s goals are to benefit not only our guests, but our environment, community and staff as well. We like to believe this holistic approach makes the lodge a special place and a unique resort. We hope you have an amazing experience with us, and thank you for taking time to learn more about the lodge and our values.