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From the Editor's mailbox – Green Initiatives

New Zealanders taking action to keep New Zealand clean and green

Alexa Forbes, Kate Taylor and Mark Devlin

Green New Zealand businesses are taking decisive action to protect the environment and are having their success benchmarked to an international standard. Prospective customers and clients are now able to go to a Green business directory to check the environmental awareness of the businesses in the area which interests them.

This article contains excerpts from some of the emails about GREEN initiatives which have been sent to NZine.

About Green Globe - a certification system that responds directly to the major environmental problems facing the planet
Green Globe is the worldwide Benchmarking, Certification and Performance Improvement system assisting international organisations to attain sustainability. Green Globe provides a certification system that responds directly to the major environmental problems facing the planet, including climate change, waste reduction and non-renewable resource management.


Environmentally aware wine tour company takes Green Globe step

Alexa Forbes

Appellation Central Wine Tours, a Queenstown based wine tour company, has taken its commitment to tread carefully on the planet to a measurable level by working through the Green Globe benchmarking process.

Appellation Central's assessment report provided by Green Globe shows the company achieved above Baseline results in all 11 areas and in 10 of those achieved Best Practice. Central's efforts were summarised in the report as "a world –class achievement to be very highly recommended".

Appellation Central Wine Tours owners Phil Green and Wendy Johnston have owned their boutique tour company for nearly 10 years and from the outset have implemented a Sustainability Policy focused on minimising environmental effects through reducing, recycling, reusing, composting and ensuring their top quality vehicle fleet is always tuned and clean.

The pair have now monitored, measured and documented their practices to achieve the first stage of the Green Globe programme, Benchmarked Bronze status.

Wendy Johnston says they believe it is their responsibility to know exactly how their business impacts on the environment and to implement improvements as technology and knowledge permits.

"Our vehicles are our major environmental concern, so much of our efforts were spent working to reduce fuel usage. We use only biodegradable cleaners, prefer to visit sustainable winegrowing accredited vineyards, use only 100% recycled office paper, and take many measures to reduce power consumption, to compost and recycle."

The pair was delighted to find that their efforts have reached or exceeded Green Globe Best Practice in energy total waste production, vehicle management, paper products, cleaning products and community commitment and is at or above Baseline in water usage. "We'll work to improve that area," said Wendy.

Benchmarking represents the first phase of Green Globe Certification. Appellation Central Wine Tours will now continue its journey of sustainability by undergoing a third party verification of their commitment to the environment and compliance with the Green Globe Company Standard.



Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park "Creeksyde" scores high in Green Globe benchmarking

Alexa Forbes

Despite increased baseline standards now required by Green Globe, the globally recognised sustainable tourism certification program, Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park "Creeksyde" has once again achieved highly in its annual benchmarking audit.

In awarding 'above Best Practice' status, the audit report conclusion stated:

"Improvements in all the Earthcheck™ indicators will not only help the environment, but can also help reduce operational costs."

Co-owner Erna Spijkerbosch says the audit report comments were especially pleasing given that the bar has been raised 5 points.

"We concentrate on operating well above the baseline and were delighted that the park has maintained its excellent audit results and best practice standards.

"Constant monitoring of consumption and operational efficiencies in all areas means that the staff are constantly aware of what they are doing and any impacts resulting from their tasks.

"As an extension of this monitoring we have developed a time and quality management tool for our Housekeeping department which helps efficiency. We operate to the motto - if you measure it you can manage it," she said.

As Chairperson of Destination Queenstown and a member of the STAR (Sustainable Tourism Advisers in Regions) Steering Committee, Erna hopes to be able to assist other businesses who wish to start out along the Green Globe path of sustainability and contribute toward Queenstown generally being known as a sustainable destination in the world markets.



Green directory is world first

Kate Taylor

Ever wanted to find the best offers on the most sustainable, healthiest and safest products or services in New Zealand?

The Sustainable Business Network, in collaboration with green living site, makes it easy at a certification system that responds directly to the major environmental problems facing the planet.

Sustainable Business Network Founder and Chief Executive, Rachel Brown, was inspired to be part of creating this new resource for people because "There are already a significant and growing number of consumers who care. They have been asking for one place to go where they can find and compare the incredible range of green products and services already available here in New Zealand."

Carthew Neal, creator of environmental TV series WA$TED! and Ecobob director adds; "Every New Zealander wants to make the best decisions for themselves and the environment, but with so many choices, it's often hard to tell which is the best decision. Not only does Greenlist help us compare products, it provides people with great deals."

Suppliers provide special offers when they list their products or services. They then rate themselves against six principles of sustainability: cyclic, solar, mega-efficient, safe, social, and certified.

Users of the site have the opportunity to share their thoughts about the product or service by commenting on the listings. This results in a full 360-degree view of the listings and keeps suppliers honest: as claims are endorsed, refuted, questioned, or discussed.

The site is available at:



New Eco-Friendly Hotel Surges to Number One

Mark Devlin

A new Auckland 'green' hotel has been given top billing by two of the world's most popular tourism websites.

Auckland City Hotel, which opened just over a year ago, was voted 'the number one four star hotel in Auckland' by and also received a number one ranking on popular booking site

General Manager, Andy Tan, says his team is thrilled with the success of the boutique hotel in such a short period of time.

"It's important to us to offer comfortable accommodation with environmentally friendly practices and our philosophy has proved extremely popular with travellers keen to lower their carbon footprint," says Tan.

The hotel is committed to preserving the environment and where possible promotes eco-consciousness within the community.

Auckland City Hotel is hoping to have its green policies formally acknowledged with the addition of the new Qualmark Green accreditation which recognises environmentally conscious tourism operators.

Auckland City Hotel is one of the first hotels in New Zealand to use the latest generation energy efficient LED lights in its hotel lobby, which run on only 3W of power compared to the normal 50W used by halogen light bulbs.

Biodegradable corn starch bags and bins are also used in all the hotel kitchens. Commonly known as BioBags, they represent the world's largest brand of 100 per cent biodegradable and 100 per cent compostable bags and films.

Tan says all hotel staff are briefed on an internal recycling scheme for rubbish and mini bars are filled only as required at the request of guests, keeping fridges empty where possible to reduce power usage.

An onsite hybrid Green Cab is also available to transport guests around the city and to the airport.

Perfect for the environmentally-aware corporate or leisure traveller, Auckland City Hotel is located in the heart of the city with easy motorway access and only a minutes' walk to attractions including the Sky Tower and Queen Street shopping precinct.

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