The FINANCIAL — SYDNEY, Australia – 18th July 2011: Reaffirming its position as the global leader in sustainable tourism, Emirates’ Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa has maintained its carbon neutral status for the second year in a row with a carboNZeroCertTM recertification.
As the first, and still the only hotel in the world to achieve carboNZero certification by an internationally accredited greenhouse gas certification scheme, the announcement comes after a full year of operation and reinforces the resort’s commitment to sustainability and conservation.
A scenic three-hour drive from Sydney and nestled between two national parks bordering the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Wolgan Valley was selected by Emirates after an extensive research for a location that lent itself to world-class conservation-based practices.
“Wolgan Valley completely embraces sustainability whilst enhancing the guest experience by delivering the first-class standards and quality expected from luxury resorts,” said Joost Heymeijer, General Manager, Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa. “Maintaining our status as carbon neutral is important and aligns with Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa’s philosophy and values. We’re completely accountable for our environmental impact and reducing our carbon footprint, “he added. “It is gratifying to see our pioneering efforts have proven worthwhile.”
The carboNZero certification indicates that the greenhouse gas emissions associated with Wolgan Valley’s operations have been independently measured and verified in accordance with international standards. It also recognises the resort’s commitment to continuously managing and reducing its emissions.
The carbon neutral status for Wolgan Valley was made possible through a combination of initiatives, including large-scale environmental rehabilitation programmes, removal of cattle from the property, and protection of existing remnant vegetation areas. Due to these operations and a focus on reducing its carbon footprint, the resort did not need to procure carbon credits to gain recertification, and in fact successfully achieved a surplus of carbon credits.
To date, over 175,000 indigenous trees have been planted in wildlife corridors and along creek banks on site, while not a single tree was destroyed by the construction of the resort. The overall footprint of the resort was already relatively low, due to the application of Ecologically Sustainable Design principles in its construction, including the use of solar power and heat recovery.
Wherever possible, the resort also aims to source the majority of its produce and ingredients within a hundred miles, providing the finest in culinary dining experience whilst supporting local producers. This approach not only assists the growth of the local economy, but it also significantly reduces the resort’s food miles and carbon footprint.
“carboNZero certification is part of Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa’s portfolio of innovative activities which are aimed at creating a unique point of difference in the market,” said Graham Carter, CEO, carboNZero programme.
“Achieving internationally accredited carbon footprinting certification from the outset and maintaining this achievement for two years now, confirms its strong commitment to credible environmental leadership.”
The carboNZero certification was developed at Landcare Research New Zealand, one of the world’s premier climate change research institutes.
“Fortunately, sustainability is no longer just an optional concept in our industry; it has now become a basic expectation and we’re proud to set the global benchmark,” continued Mr Heymeijer.