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Thirteen Tourism Businesses Achieve Enviro-Gold

Date Published: 4 December 2008

Thirteen of the country's top tourism businesses have achieved Enviro-Gold logos, the highest ranking in the new Qualmark Green programme which was launched in May this year.

Ranging from a five-star hotel to specialist eco-tour operators, the companies have all achieved the pinnacle of responsible tourism processes within their operations, successfully integrating environmental sustainability into quality tourism products.

"You have to be very committed to achieve the Enviro-Gold logo," says Qualmark Chief Executive Geoff Penrose. "The assessment criteria are very robust and rigorous. These 13 companies are all environmental leaders; they have a good understanding of sustainability and have backed this up with investment in initiatives to proactively reduce their footprint."

One of the 13 is the Bolton Hotel. Its commitment to environmental practices is evident at all levels across the property's water, energy and waste management. These practices extend to providing guests with recycling options in rooms; a linen and towel change card with savings donated to selected charities and not-for-profit organisations; and changes and monitoring of settings of mechanical plant to reduce energy use.

Dive! Tutukaka, another Enviro-Gold logo recipient, has implemented a range of environmental initiatives, including programmes to reduce its carbon footprint; washing equipment in rainwater; recycling bins on boats with organic waste either composted or collected by a local pig farmer; and monitoring fuel efficiency systems on its boats.

Since August 2008, under Qualmark Green, minimum environmental standards apply to all 2,000 plus Qualmark licence holders as part of their quality accreditation assessments. Operators that score well are then eligible to apply for higher Enviro-Gold, Enviro-Silver and Enviro-Bronze ratings depending on their environmental performance.

Geoff Penrose says Qualmark Green has received good feedback from industry and the trade since its launch, with JTB, Japan's largest wholesaler, creating a special tour featuring companies who rated well in the new environmental criteria.

Qualmark Green is a practical tool to meet the environmental goals of the New Zealand Tourism strategy 2015 and to help the country deliver on the 100% Pure New Zealand promise we make to our overseas visitors.

It helps businesses incorporate environmentally and socially responsible practices into their operations, which are good for the environment, which save them money through things like reducing energy consumption, and which make it easier for visitors to choose environmentally friendly options.

Visit www.responsibletourism.co.nz to find out more about Qualmark Green.

Operators who have achieved the Qualmark Enviro-Gold Logo to date are:

  • Bolton Hotel, Wellington
  • Hermitage Hotel, Mt Cook
  • Birds Ferry Lodge, West Coast (South Island)
  • Novotel Wellington, Wellington
  • Takatu Lodge, Northland
  • Dive! Tutukaka, Northland
  • Rainbow Springs Nature Park/Kiwi Encounter, Rotorua
  • YHA Wellington, Wellington
  • Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki, West Coast (South Island)
  • Farewell Spit Eco Tours, Nelson
  • Whale Watch Kaikoura, Marlborough
  • Adventure South, Christchurch