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The Business Emerald Sustainability Tier (BEST) Certification Program was created to provide an opportunity and platform for Sustainable Business Leaders (SBL) that want to elevate their sustainability practices to higher levels of environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic vitality. The standards in the BEST program are comparable to the world's most rigorous and comprehensive environmental, community, and economic sustainability criteria.

Here are the BEST Certified Sustainability Leaders in their communities:
Jackson Hole:



Keith Sproule, Owner, Bentwood Inn:  "The depth and breadth of the BEST Certification process is what makes it so impactful - and so attractive for our business. The entire team at the Bentwood Inn is proud to have achieved this certification and look forward to working together for many years to come."

Amy McCarthy, Executive Director, Teton Raptor Center: "The BEST certification process was rigorous and rewarding. We are an organization dedicated to keeping wild birds wild. For Teton Raptor Center, achieving BEST certification may be a feather in our cap, so to speak, but the real work is ahead, to maintain and expand our sustainability initiatives and to use those efforts to inspire others.” 

Monay Olson, Owner, Elk Refuge Inn & The Shine Group:  "Creating a positive impact is our core value and we action this in many measurable ways. However, as a small hotel with limited resources we were concerned in our ability to achieve BEST status.  The tools and resources provided by the Riverwind Foundation are outstanding.  The process of achieving BEST is much more than a badge. It’s learning that the implementation of numerous initiatives add to delivering a powerful impact to the achievement of sustainability."

Rick Braun, President, Jackson Hole Airport:  "Collaborating with organizations like the Riverwind Foundation provides a great opportunity to evaluate what our Board is doing well and how we can improve our goals to reduce our impacts on the environment."

Aaron Pruzan, Owner, Rendezvous River Sports: ""Our whole team is excited to have earned our BEST certification. This rigorous process is a great learning experiences and has helped us take our sustainability initiatives to the next level."

Dylan Hoffman, Director of Sustainability, Xanterra Yellowstone National Park Lodges: “We are thrilled to have achieved this certification not only to acknowledge the significant commitment that we put into our sustainability efforts, but to help support the growth of this rigorous local certification program. We hope to see the continued expansion of this program throughout Teton County to help preserve and protect the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for future generations."

Matt Scott, owner of the Yellowstone Safari Company states “I am proud of the hard work that our team has put into achieving our BEST certification. This certification affirms our continuous effort to reduce our impact and improve our sustainability to help preserve and protect the places we live and love. It's an honor to lead the Riverwind Foundation's expansion outside of Jackson Hole, and we're proud to be part of a positive step forward for the GYE.”



Consultation & Guidance:  Upon acceptance in the Program, participating businesses and organizations will be assigned a sustainability guide who will provide guidance and resources for planning and implementing sustainability initiatives over the next six months.


Assessment:  Program participants will be assessed after six months for readiness to proceed to the BEST Certification Assessment stage.  Readiness includes preparation of all documentation necessary to demonstrate compliance with the BEST criteria. An assessor will be assigned to conduct a table-top review of the participant’s documentation and a site visit.  Upon completion of the assessment, the participant will receive a score and report of the participant’s performance according to the BEST criteria.


Certification & Continual Improvement:  ​Upon initial BEST Sustainability Certification, the participant will join an elite cohort of sustainability leaders who will receive the BEST Program benefits and collaborate with other program participants in exchanging best practices. The Riverwind Foundation will conduct an annual review with the BEST Sustainability Certified participant to discuss the status of the participant’s sustainability initiatives and changes, address challenges and opportunities for improvement, and connect the participant with further supporting resources to empower the business to continue on its sustainability journey.

The BEST standard and survey are updated on an annual basis. The latest survey updates include additional criteria on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Health and Safety; and Conservation and Resource Protection.

Take the BEST Survey:


Featured article in Green Matters in Jackson Hole


Press Releases to local media and list serves

Half-page feature in the annual Sustainable Business Guide

BEST Logo for use on your own website and social media


BEST sticker for your place of business


Framed BEST Certificate

Recognition at Riverwind Foundation Events

Connecting and sharing best practices with peer BEST Certified entities


A gathering of over 40 businesses, organizations, and government agencies took place on January 9, 2024 at the Teton Raptor Center in Jackson, Wyoming.  The event offered a panel discussion on managing carbon emissions featuring Sustainable Business Leaders that have achieved BEST Certification.  The meeting was also an opportunity to network with sustainability-minded businesses and organizations.  To view the presenter slide deck, please click HERE.

To apply for the BEST Certification Progam or to receive additional information, please contact Tim O’Donoghue at or (307) 690-3316.

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