Lord Howe Island's Pinetrees Lodge has just achieved carbon neutral certification under Canberra's Climate Active Program.
This makes them the first full-service hotel in Australia to gain certification through the rigorous Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard.
The certification process was long, demanding and highly rewarding.
"Our carbon neutral certification is a big step for Pinetrees and Lord Howe Island," says Pinetrees owner Luke Hanson
"We wanted to demonstrate that small businesses like ours can lead on environmental and social issues, and still be profitable. In our view, it now makes perfect business sense to offer holidays at a carbon neutral hotel."
Initially, Pinetrees spent over $5 million on renovations to help reduce their carbon footprint. The work included the refurbishment of all guest rooms (following solar passive design principles), a 95% conversion to LED lights, installation of new wiring and switch boards, installation of new commercial refrigeration plant, installation of water saving taps and toilets, and installation of state-of-theart Fuji wastewater systems.
They 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, Pinetrees reduced their power consumption by 30% and water consumption by 35%.
When the renovation program was finished, Pinetrees analysed all sources of carbon emissions from the business – including electricity, freight, food and beverage, transport and more – and calculated an annual total of 1073 tonnes.
These emissions, validated by independent consultants, were then offset by a $19,000 investment in the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Project (a habitat protection project in Central Kalimantan with strong community-based initiatives) and the Protection of Tasmanian Native Forest Project (an initiative to expand our national conservation estate on private land).
For more info click here.