Lord Howe Island’s Pinetrees Lodge has been certified carbon neutral – making it Australia’s first full-service hotel to achieve the distinction through the Australian Government’s ‘Climate Active’ Carbon Neutral Standard.
To achieve the mark, the property analysed its carbon emissions and determined it was releasing 1,037 tonnes into the environment each year. The resort then invested AUD$5 million on renovations to reduce its carbon footprint, installing LED lights, new wiring and switch boards, a new commercial refrigeration plant and water saving plumbing including taps, toilets and a waste water treatment system.
Pinetrees Lodge owner, Luke Hanson, added: “We also changed the restaurant and laundry operations to reduce water and power consumption, invested in new vehicles, reduced waste, installed worm farms and compost bins, and built a large organic market garden to limit food miles.
“All up, we reduced our power consumption by 30% and water consumption by 35%. It is a fantastic outcome”.
The resort’s new carbon neutral status has been independently verified by Pangolin Associates, which was then offset with a AUD$19,000 investment in the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Project and the Protection of Tasmanian Native Forest Project.
In 2020, the resort said staff have planted around 3,000 new trees and palms and next year, will construct its own nursery, with another 3,000 trees set to go in north of the current site.
“We wanted to demonstrate that small businesses like ours can lead on environmental and social issues, and still be profitable,” Hanson added.
“In our view, it now makes perfect business sense to offer holidays at a carbon neutral hotel. Travellers have plenty of choice about where they travel and how they engage with their destination, and our carbon neutral certification will provide another reason for guests to feel good about their stay and hopefully return”.