This certification makes Sudima Lake Rotorua the third carboNZero-certified hotel in New Zealand, after its stablemates Sudima Auckland Airport and Sudima Christchurch Airport.
The company is aiming for all new hotels to be built to a standard that enables certification to carboNZero status as soon as possible following opening – it currently has three in development, in Auckland City, Christchurch City and Kaikoura.
carboNZero certification is issued by Enviro-Mark Solutions and is recognised in over 60 countries. carboNZero certification means organisations have measured all sources of greenhouse gas emissions to international standards and been audited by an independent third party, committed to strategies to reduce emissions, and offset their carbon emissions though purchasing carbon credits.
The certification is part of Sudima Hotels’ larger mission to be a vanguard of sustainability in tourism and hospitality.
At last year’s New Zealand Tourism Awards, Sudima Hotels claimed the Environmental Tourism Award to add to its sustainability accolades, which recognises an environmentally sustainable tourism business that embraces kaitiakitanga (guardianship and protection for the environment).
Dr Ann Smith, the CEO of Enviro-Mark Solutions, says the process of achieving carboNZero certification is rigorous.
Applicants first measure all the activities in their business that create carbon emissions in line with international measurement standards, which are then audited by an independent third party.
Organisations must then set reduction targets and develop projects to reduce emission levels from the most significant emission sources in their business, and offset their carbon emissions through purchasing carbon credits.
As a carboNZero-certified organisation, Sudima Hotels has selected credits from a variety of credible local and overseas projects that contribute to projects such as native forest regeneration, wind farming etc. For Sudima Lake Rotorua, 323 Luoyang LFG Project in China credits have chosen to offset its remaining carbon emissions.
'The carboNZero programme helps companies to identify opportunities to maximise efficiencies in their businesses, to review their supply chain and initiate more environmentally responsible practices,' says Smith.
'Most carboNZero-certified organisations are also able to identify opportunities to reduce their costs, partly through becoming more energy-efficient.
'As the only hotel chain in New Zealand to date to achieve this certification, Sudima Hotels is taking a leadership position and showing their ongoing commitment to reduce their impact on the environment. Sudima Hotels is now in a process of continual improvement, and an annual audit is required to maintain certification.'