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consumption was 11 percent lower per guest
than the year previous, equivalent to one
Olympic-sized swimming pool.
A lot of what goes on is very community
focused, says Martin. Food scraps are
composted via the City Council’s Kai to
Compost programme, used amenities (such
as shampoo containers) are donated to the
Wellington Downtown Ministry, and staff pack
left over food into containers for redistribution
through volunteer organisation Kiwi
Community Assistance (KCA). Appliances,
bedding and furniture have also been
distributed to KCA’s char ity partners. Staff also
help fundraising efforts for other local char ities.
As well as helping the planet these are
all feel-good initiatives, good for staff
esteem, says Martin. Popular has been the
conservation work, some undertaken in
partnership with DOC. Last year more than
40 staff volunteered for a planting/weeding
working bee on Matiu/Somes Island, while
a management team planted 600 trees on
Mangarara Station, in Hawke’s Bay.
“The team love it, they come back so positive
and talk to the guests about things they can do. It gives them confidence to
sell that whole sustainable/conservation exper ience,” says Martin.
Setting up reporting systems has also been important and in this
Richie Singleton, who first studied the James Cook eco-story as a
student, has been instrumental, says Martin. “His company, Eco Pocket,
now monitors and reviews our environmental initiatives which improve
our sustainability perfor mance.”
The hotel is not resting on its laurels – our next target is packaging
excess, he adds. “Improvements can still be made. We are working with
suppliers to cut down on the excesses of cardboard and cartons they use
to package their products.”
Telling the sustainability story is a major attraction for inter national
guests staying at luxur y property, Stonefly Lodge, which is fully energy
self-contained and off the national grid, says owner John Kerr. After
managing inter national luxury lodges, Ker r retur ned ‘home’ to build his
dream lodge, near Nelson.
“The guests are fascinated.They suggest we make more of an emphasis
about what we do, on our website for example. They are also inspired.
Most come from the United States and we get letters from them saying
they’ve converted their own lighting to LED after staying here.”
Stonefly sits on 150 hectares of private forest, overlooking Kahurangi
National Park and the Motueka River. Fly fishing is a major attraction.
“The reason we came back to New Zealand was to build this lodge
and one of my dreams was to make it the first, fully self-contained
property, using every source of power, wind, solar, water and fire. A lot of
lodges around the world use one or two but not all of them,” says Ker r.
“Just living here knowing you’re self-contained is so good. If you wake
up in the morning and it’s sunny you know you’ve got solar power and if
it’s cloudy, well you go to your hydro. It is a way of life, you have to work
it; we do the washing and ironing on a sunny day, for example.”
Energy saving initiatives are everywhere at Stonefly.The lodge is
insulated with woollen batts, for example. These were quite innovative
six years ago, says Kerr. “The guests really prick up their ears when they
hear they are staying in a house lined with wool.The Danish GRAM
refrigeration units are the most efficient available, they draw one third
of the energy of a nor mal fridge. Of course we have LED lighting
throughout. It was quite expensive at the time, now more companies
are producing them and the price has come down, there’s no excuse for
people not to use them.” I
James Cook Hotel at Matiu Island 2014
The Stonefly Lodge sunroom
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