We take great pride in providing walkers from all over the world with a unique insight into the magic of New Zealand's wilderness and will continue to upgrade and maintain the tracks whilst ensuring their sustainability for the future.
The following outlines how we are currently minimising, removing and recycling waste, reducing energy consumption, increasing water efficiency, using sustainable products and supporting conservation initiatives. Our walkers play a significant role in helping us succeed with these goals. Click here to view some of the ways you can help us to make a real difference.
- At the lodges we reduce the amount of waste produced by purchasing products in bulk and therefore reducing the amount of packaging.
- We separate our rubbish at the lodges into recyclables and non-recyclables. All of the rubbish is flown out of the World Heritage Area. The non-recyclable rubbish goes to landfill but the recyclable rubbish goes to the Queenstown Recycling Centre to be sorted and recycled.
- We recycle all materials where possible; for example, old towels are used for rags, old equipment is donated to organisations such as schools, lost property items go to the Salvation Army.
- We provide biodegradable pack liners for our walkers on the track.
- All of our walker information is printed on sustainable paper stock.
- We are in the process of introducing can crushers at each lodge to reduce the surface area of the rubbish allowing it all to go in one flight.
- Waste oil is sent to Northern Southland Transport for recycling.
- We are currently conducting research into sustainable cleaning and soap products that compliment our septic tank systems.
- We ensure that all new electrical equipment is purchased on the basis of its energy efficiency rating.
- All electrical machinery and equipment is monitored, maintained and updated on a continual basis.
- Lodge generators are alternated between sizes and peak times to
DC lighting is used between 10pm and 6am.
- We ensure that the heat energy released from our electricity generators at the lodges is harnessed for efficient drying rooms.
- Solar energy charges the radio repeater sites and lights at some of the lodges. We are continually analysing our use of transport in all aspects of our operation and strive to operate with full loads where possible; be it with walker transport or helicopter freight.
- We regularly monitor our energy consumption.
- Energy efficient lighting, sensors and timers are used in the lodge where possible.
- Clothes lines are available for drying.
- All grey water and sewage feeds directly into well maintained septic tanks. The resultant sludge is emptied and flown to a sewage treatment plant. The remaining liquid is passed through a series of high quality water filters before being dispersed in a location approved by the Department of Conservation. Every season, 5-6 water quality tests are undertaken in the lodge vicinity to ensure that the water being released has no detrimental impact on the surrounding environment.
- The water temperature and flow in the lodges are tested periodically to ensure efficiency.
- We help the Department of Conservation (DOC) monitor Blue Duck (Whio Whio) numbers on the Milford Track.
- We monitor the Kea (mountain parrot) numbers on the Mackinnon Pass on the Milford Track for DOC.
- We have been involved in the process of eradicating exotic plant species from our Milford lease area.
- We cover 50% of all track maintenance and capital project costs on the Milford Track, through contributions to DOC.
- Part of our concession fees go towards environmental monitoring/biodiversity projects run by DOC.
- We understand the vital roles that each of our staff members play in the operation and strive to ensure that the work- place is a safe and rewarding one. All staff have reviews with their senior management and we ensure that there are strategies in place for personal development.
- We produce a monthly newsletter that keeps all staff up to date on what is going on in the company.
- The sustainable practises of the company are an integral part of the staff training process.
- We donate prizes/auction items to community events such as school fundraisers, gold panning championships, charity golf tournaments, charity bowls tournaments and church fairs.
- Where possible, we purchase local products, thus supporting local business's and reducing freight.
- We supply radio communications for the annual Routeburn Classic race.