New resort first to adopt carbon offset programme in New Zealand
Posted by Fleur Revell
A Waikato resort has become the first Kiwi hotel to adopt a carbon offset programme with the aiming of attracting the eco-conscious traveller.
Karapiro Wellness Resort has become the first New Zealand hotel to adopt a carbon offset programme designed at capturing the lucrative eco-tourism market. Set to open in May 2008, the five star resort is located near Cambridge and alongside the idyllic shores of Lake Karapiro.
Karapiro Wellness Centre and Resort has joined forces with Carbon Zero and the Mangatahe Trust to introduce the programme, which works by calculating guests’ carbon footprint when they settle their bill at the conclusion of their stay. Guests are then invited at their own discretion to make a donation of the same value to The Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, in support of its reforestation and restoration programme.
The Carbon Zero programme encourages and supports individuals and organisations to minimise their impact on climate change by providing them with tools to measure, manage and mitigate their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – a major contributor to climate change.
Bernard Soh, Chief Operating Officer of Karapiro Wellness Resort (Tony Tay Group), says the decision to introduce the carbon offset programme was balanced by a desire to offer something to guests in a non-aggressive manner. “We wanted the decision ultimately to rest with the guest so they didn’t feel forced into something they didn’t want to do. An eco-aware Wellness Centre makes great sense for the environment while simultaneously helping to promote eco-consciousness within the community,” says Mr Soh.
Karapiro Wellness Centre and Resort contains an integrated health facility dedicated to the individual recuperation, rejuvenation and restoration. The Resort also includes a dining facility for guests, the latest in hydrotherapy baths, spas, steam rooms, heated lap pools and beauty therapy and massage equipment, plus flood lit tennis courts, a spacious gym, and a range of water sports. Guests are also able to take advantage of high quality Spinal Balance Holistic Healthcare treatments.
Experienced professionals and a specialised healthcare team look after guests at Karapiro Wellness Centre through personalised programmes and treatments that focus on guests’ individual needs and wellbeing. The majority of the treatments at Karapiro Wellness Centre fall under natural medicine practices and are therefore focused on environmental sustainability. The complex is surrounded by 45 self-contained, stand alone villas which comprise a living area, separate bedroom and large luxuriously appointed bathroom.
Bernard Soh says the company is committed to doing it all it can for the environment and sees eco tourism as a major driver in the future of its business. The company has also recently built the Auckland City Hotel – Hobson St and already the same approach has been taken with this property towards sustainability. The Hotel uses compact energy efficient fluorescent lights in all its corridors and rooms, with 50 per cent of the corridor lights activated by motion sensors.
The Auckland City Hotel – Hobson St also uses the increasingly popular BioBags and bins in its kitchens which are completely composted after 10-45 days. Continuing its environmentally-friendly focus, the Hotel is also looking into the use of 100 per cent bio-degradable plates and packaging, along with recyclable waste bins.