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THE RANCH

Sustainability

Responsible Stewards Of The Land

Since opening our doors in 1992, Post Ranch has been at the forefront of environmental responsibility and continues to be an industry leader when it comes to sustainability. It is our belief that what’s good for the planet can also be good for your guest experience.

Exterior shot of a house at Post Ranch Inn

Design & Architecture

Post Ranch’s innovative organic environmental design was intended for people to feel a part of nature rather than observers. Designers used bio-structure architecture, utilizing the natural materials of glass, wood, stone, and passive solar heat.

  • Efforts were made to avoid cutting trees when the property was developed.
  • The earth-sheltered Ocean Houses with sod roofs blend into the landscape and reduce heat loss.
  • The stilted 9 ft. Tree Houses were designed to protect the fragile root balls of nearby redwood and oak trees.
  • Reclaimed wood, including old-growth redwood from old wine casks, adds a rich, deep red color to many guestroom walls.
  • Trees that fall on the property are retrieved and made into benches along the pathways.
Water bottles

Natural Resources

Because we try to live our values, we’ve developed processes and systems that make the most of natural resources. While we know we aren’t perfect, our aim is always zero-to-minimal impact.

  • Post Ranch Inn created the first commercial greywater system approved in Monterey County.
  • All water used at Post Ranch Inn is sourced and treated via the seven wells located on property. That includes drinking water, water used in guestrooms, Sierra Mar, maintenance, laundry, etc. 
  • Usage is measured daily and quality is monitored and tested weekly.
  • Water-efficient landscaping is used, focusing on native and drought-tolerant plants that are tended with organic fertilizer.
  • Single-use plastic bottles and styrofoam are not used anywhere on the property.
  • Post Ranch follows an extensive, property-wide recycling program for paper, newspaper, cardboard, cans, glass, aluminum, and compost from the restaurant. Also, to minimize waste and packaging, we use and produce recycled and recyclable materials.
Solar panels at Post Ranch Inn

Energy

In 2009, Post Ranch switched on a 990-panel solar installation. According to the EPA, the installation is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by approximately 600,000 pounds annually. That’s just one way the Post Ranch is working to conserve and practice clean-energy.

  • The solar power generation consists of 990, 210-watt photovoltaic (light to electricity) solar panels that produce almost 350,000 kWh of pollution-free electricity per year.
  • LED and low-voltage lighting are used throughout the property.
  • South-facing windows in guestrooms have been tinted to lower energy use.
  • A protective film has been placed on ocean-facing windows to reduce the sun's harmful effects, maintain room comfort, and save energy.
  • Guests are transported in fuel-efficient Lexus hybrid vehicles. Guests' vehicles are parked away from the hotel rooms, avoiding traffic and emissions, and ensuring a serene environment.
Deer in the Post Ranch forest

Land & Wildlife

To preserve this pristine land and the wildlife that call it home, 90 of our 100 acres are maintained as a protected area, with the goal of zero impact and land preservation.

  • The land is home to a number of indigenous species, including several that are rare, endangered, or threatened such as the Smith's blue butterfly (SBB), California red-legged frog (CRLF), California condor. To ensure these species continue to flourish, an extensive program of activities is in effect that includes conservation, site management, habitat protection and enhancement and guest education.
  • An ongoing habitat conservation plan discourages invasive non-native flora and fauna.
  • Forest management is an ongoing project designed to maintain healthy woodlands and protect flora and fauna.
  • Post Ranch is active in the identification of Sudden Oak Death and fully participates in efforts to remove diseased trees, while planting a new oak tree for each that succumbs. 
  • Over 150 redwood and oak trees and other landscaping have been added, providing privacy, wind protection, shade, and beauty.
  • Plant waste is chipped, mulched, and returned to the earth. 
  • No chemical pesticides or herbicides are used on the property. 
Indoor dining safety

Indoor Environment

Post Ranch has taken extra steps to provide a healthier and sustainable indoor experience for all guests, staff and visitors.

  • Post Ranch Inn is a non-smoking facility.
  • Low and zero-VOC paints are used.
  • The property implements an indoor air quality management plan to ensure guests' well-being, including maintenance and monitoring. In addition, Post Ranch has retained an indoor air quality expert, who advises Post Ranch on the many ways to maximize fresh air in the rooms and throughout all indoor public spaces.
  • Post Ranch uses low-emitting materials to reduce indoor air contaminants' amount, including adhesives, paints, coatings, and carpeting.
  • The public restrooms provide cotton hand towels.
  • HEPA air filters are used in all public spaces. Here’s a link to the current indoor air quality in the restaurant.
Aluminum bottles for water

Guestrooms

Our guestrooms also reflect our commitment to the environment, all while maintaining a world-class experience.

  • Sheets and towels are custom-made locally, using no harmful chemicals or dyes.
  • Organic, biodegradable bath amenities are provided in larger refillable containers.
  • Water is conserved in guestrooms by low-flow showerheads, water faucets, and toilets.
  • Refillable glass water bottles are used in lieu of plastic.
  • Reusable stainless steel water bottles are provided for use while visiting and to take home.
  • Laundry detergent is biodegradable and hypoallergenic, with botanicals and active herbal ingredients. 
  • Lighting and heat are designed to maximize comfort, including radiant heat on most guestroom or bathroom floors.
  • Each guestroom features a recycling bin. 
  • Guests can assist in these conservation efforts by by opting out of a daily change of linens.
Person looks at fresh garden vegetables

Food & Beverage

Post Ranch's award-winning restaurant Sierra Mar supports small producers and the regional economy by serving all-natural free-range beef and poultry and fresh, on-site, or locally-grown seasonal organic vegetables and fruit.

  • The restaurant supports sustainable fishing practices and does not serve endangered or threatened fish. If possible, seafoods purchased from local fishermen and other foods from local producers or farmers' markets.
  • The on-site Chef's Garden provides fresh produce, vegetables, and herbs for our guests to enjoy.
  • Fair-trade organic coffees and teas are used. Fresh organic fruits are juiced at the inn each day.
  • Sierra Mar uses biodegradable containers made of corn starch.
  • A robust recycling and composting program is carried out daily.
Lady gives massage to guest

Spa

The full menu of spa treatments unites guests with nature elements, utilizing organic products, supporting local businesses, and recycling renewable energy. Certified organic linens and skincare products, eco-friendly detergent, and filtered laundry water for irrigation are examples of green standards.

  • Medicinal plants and flowers from the Chef’s Garden are used in our signature spa products. The active ingredients' facial and skin care products contain natural fruit acids, medicinal herbs, flowers, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Healing Big Sur jade, collected from a local beach by a staff member, is often used in some treatments.
  • The Jade Pool features inlaid pieces of local Big Sur jade, each carefully placed by hand.
  • The honey used in treatments is collected locally and is pollinated from Post Ranch flowers.
  • Additionally, we use eco-friendly detergent, organic sheets, and filter our laundry water for irrigation.
Master falconer educates guest about falcons

Education

If you’re curious to learn more about sustainability and the environmental philosophies that have shaped our approach, here are some of the ways we share this approach with guests.

  • Our digital compendium includes information on all of our sustainability practices.
  • Guests are encouraged to enjoy various activities, highlighting the ecological, community, and individual resources at Post Ranch or in the Big Sur area. These include falconry, guided nature walks with a naturalist, forest meditation, yoga, seasonal whale watching, edible Chef’s Garden tours and more. 
  • The staff follows the Post Ranch Inn Environmental Principles in all aspects of business.
  • Post Ranch Inn encourages employee education programs, especially in the area of environmental protection.
  • Training programs and demonstrations share important knowledge and the inn's commitment to the environment and community with staff and others. These include the Benefits of Recycling, Fire Protection, CPR and AED and more. 
  • Subsidized housing is provided for many employees.
Walkway at Post Ranch

Community

We’re only as strong as the community around us. Post Ranch has always made a strong effort to be support the local Big Sur community both socially and economically.

  • Post Ranch and caring guests generously contribute to The Big Sur Community Fund, which was established to support local charitable organizations. 100% of the funds are used for charitable purposes and beneficiaries.
  • Post Ranch Inn selected one critical issue, affordable health care in Big Sur, to create positive change for the local community. Beginning in 1997, Post Ranch recruited all local businesses to donate $2 per employee, per month for the creation, management, and maintenance of a non-profit health center. This commitment to the community has increased the success of being awarded grants from foundations to further the local health care cause.
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Sunset view from an Ocean House at Post Ranch Inn
SUSTAINABILITY PARTNERSHIP

Beyond Green

Post Ranch is proud to be a founding member of Beyond Green, a global portfolio of hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability leadership. Guided by a collective passion to create a more purposeful way to explore the world where good guests meet good hosts, the progressive properties represented within the Beyond Green brand are committed to delivering on the three pillars of sustainable tourism - environmentally friendly practices that go beyond the basics; protection of natural and cultural heritage; and contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of local communities.

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