Businesses commit to sustainability

A sustainable tourism programme put together by WellingtonNZ and Tourism Industry Aotearoa is helping to ensure sustainability is top of mind

Last year’s three-month pilot featured 12 Wellington tourism businesses that worked towards tourism sustainability commitments within their operations.

Actions included measuring carbon footprints, supply chain management, reducing waste, becoming Living Wage-accredited and developing partnerships.

The successful pilot has now been cemented as a yearly programme and in 2022 features 13 businesses from the greater Wellington region.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa says every operator has a part to play in creating a tourism industry that is sustainable across economic, visitor, community and environment outcomes.

And as WellingtonNZ chief executive John Allen says: “Ultimately, our sustainability programme is designed so tourism businesses can provide stronger community connections in a sustainable, economically prudent manner, and it’s fantastic that Wellington is leading the way in this regard.

“We all know the world is facing a climate crisis and we are excited that other New Zealand regions and business sectors are interested in the sustainability programme as part of the solution.”

Progress so far

Tourism businesses involved in the pilot programme share their sustainability journeys to date

Kāpiti Island Nature Tours

A previous winner of the New Zealand Tourism Awards’ Department of Conservation Environmental Tourism Award, the business is running a successful and sustainable operation – it has a sustainable procurement strategy, measures its carbon footprint and has a waste management plan in place.

Founding director John Barrett is thinking big and keen to collaborate with other tour operators.

Craft Beer Tours NZ

Mike Henderson talks about big changes and the introduction of Forest Dump.

The company’s mission is to give back more than it takes and to do what’s right for people and the planet. It’s not surprising then that its sustainable practices and beliefs focus on three pillars of sustainability – people, planet and community.

Switched On Bikes

Bike hire company founder Ryan O’Connell discusses measuring carbon and achieving sustainable growth.

Wellington’s top guided eBike tour company offers carbon friendly transportation and offsetting 120 percent of emissions makes it Climate Positive certified. Its partnership with Trails Wellington helps to support and build bike trails around the region as well as tree planting and pest management. If that’s not enough there’s the creative use of end-of-life parts which are turned into the likes of earrings and leather goods.

Manaaki Management and Karaka Café

Managing director Paul Retimanu explains how the business’ focus has changed to a more holistic approach.

As a 100 percent Māori, Pacifika and Kiwi-owned and operated business, its core values are culturally-based and Māori procurement is top of mind.

The 2021 Hospitality New Zealand best café award winner is also firmly focused on supply chain management with an emphasis on sustainability initiatives, including kai to compost and reducing packaging.

Village Accommodation Group

Chief commercial director Hazel Rigler looks at day-to-day operations in order to meet sustainability goals.

The group consists of five Wellington accommodation properties, all committed to improving environmental awareness within its own teams and with suppliers and customers.

As a result, the group has embraced initiatives that involve energy and water efficiency, eco-friendly products and packaging, and digital over paper options.

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