Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Australia’s first luxury conservation-based resort has announced a Carbon Neutral Recertification certification. The resort which holds the position of the global leader in sustainable tourism, has maintained its carbon neutral status for the second year in a row with a carboNZeroCertTM recertification. For the conscious traveler, the resort is a scenic three-hour drive from Sydney and is nestled between two national parks bordering the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. 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 recognizes 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 programs, 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.
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,” said Joost Heymeijer, general manager of the resort.