By Christopher Warren
There is a Climate Emergency, and we have signed our commitment to publishing our declaration to take responsible action and reduce carbon emissions. Since 2007 we have measured our carbon footprint, it has guided us to make tremendous progress at Crystal Creek Meadows where we have cut carbon emissions by 70% in total, and by a greater level with every guest stay, as we have become more popular.
We believe in moderation, letting others flourish by Good Actions and encouraging travel to broaden the mind.
To create and promote Good Accommodation and Holidays that enables our guests to relax from the stress of their modern lives, reconnect with nature, and rejuvenate through new experiences. We shall conduct our business activities in a manner to encourage the Kangaroo Valley community to flourish, to safeguard that natural heritage, and to enrich our visitors with wholesome holidays.
Our 6 commitments
- Cut carbon emissions strategically by undertaking a carbon audit every year (which we have been doing since 2007), so we focus on continuous improvement
- Cut carbon emissions by involving our guests in resource conservation using My Green Butler (This has been very successful with Oct-Dec 2019 showing a 35% lower in electricity use than the previous year’s quarter. )
- Cut carbon emissions by introducing new eco-innovations, like DC ceiling fans which use 1/3 electricity of normal fans and enable guests to feel a 2°C lower temperature and solar lighting using fibre-optic cables which avoids guests having to use electric lights
- Cut carbon emission by driving a hybrid car to obtain supplies and take guests to and from the railway station (in 2018-19 we cut petrol use by more than half due to this)
- Cut carbon emissions by travelling by train to Sydney for meetings (in 2018-19 19 trips saving the equivalent of one flight to London)
- Cut carbon emissions by refurbishing guest rooms recycling furniture (in 2017-18 31% recycled and 5% placed in landfill)
We do not want to attract tourism “at all costs”, only to damage the very reason why guests visit Kangaroo Valley in the first place. We have 10 core initiatives to help us operate appropriately and to encourage guests to enjoy the region responsibly.
- Low Carbon Transport Alternatives
Tourism transport accounts for 75% of tourism’s CO2 pollution (UNEP 2008). The true negative impact of aviation is still being determined but could significantly increase tourism’s global GHG emissions contribution. Therefore cutting tourism transport’s emissions is a prerequisite to any business planning and development. We must continue to provide our guests with low carbon transport alternative. We must seek to minimize our use of transport.
- Environmental Sustainability
Our goal is to minimise energy and water use to beyond world best practice. We minimize waste in our office and our accommodation business through continuous efficiency and conservation behaviours. We encourage our partners to reduce their environmental impacts and encourage our guest’s to apply energy, water and waste reduction policies. (See results in our The Big Picture Report). We rely entirely on our own rainwater and use our own Photo-Voltaic/Solar Panels (providing a third of our energy requirements), and have implemented guest-orientated strategies and technological innovations to reduce usage and conserve resources.
- The Property’s Conservation
We will continually review and implement measures to improve our property’s (1540 Moss Vale Road, Kangaroo Valley, NSW 2577 Australia) biodiversity through the rehabilitation of originally cleared devastated land and regenerate it with native species.
- Regional Nature Conservation
We will continue to actively encourage our partners, our community, and our guests to participate in nature conservation through projects we identify using expert local advice. We will actively promote the benefits of Connective Conservation so that the overall results have a long lasting positive impact on the nation’s biodiversity. We will continue to actively participate in the local plastic bag free town and reusable water bottle campaigns.
- Create a stronger Kangaroo Valley Community
We will continue to help to build the capacity of the local community to be more sustainable by supporting local producers, sponsoring cultural activities and donating funds to local causes. We will campaign for stronger linkage between community groups both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous to encourage reconciliation and respect.
- Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation
We seek to inform our partners, community and guests about Climate Change and build their awareness of steps they can take to reduce their footprint. We will lobby the government and its agencies to provide better Climate Change education to the public, provide active guidance to tourism destinations on reducing their footprint and invest in public transport. We will conduct market research to assist our campaigns and encourage positive change to a better more sustainable future.
- Economic Sustainability
We will continue to promote and encourage our guests to purchase local produce, arts and crafts. We only select Aboriginal artwork with is authenticated and benefits the local community. We will continue to foster local food production and give primary focus to purchasing from Kangaroo Valley Village shops and trades. We will continue to audit our purchases annually to determine the value of their local economic linkage. We will continue to seek to identify responsible businesses in the region and support them.
- Travellers’ Codes
We will continue to encourage responsible tourism practice by our guests to engender the respect of local culture, responsible use of transport, to participate in minimizing their environmental footprint and to participate in nature conservation.
We will continue to ensure that our marketing communications are clear and accurate, that only local and appropriate pictures are used to promote the businesses. We will continue to ensure that all environmental, social or economic claims are verified and can be substantiated. We will not communicate Aboriginal heritage without the prior approval of the local community.
- Best Practice
We are committed to World Best Practice providing Responsible Reporting. We will use the framework provided by accreditations but also go further by independently verifying our results and publish our Environmental Declaration.
The results are we have won two Australian Tourism Awards, a World Responsible Tourism Award and the prestigious Banksia Award, and our guests support us with multiple TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Google reviews. We seek to positively tackle the Climate Emergency.