Skyline Queenstown earns top award for environmental efforts
MEDIA RELEASE FROM SKYLINE QUEENSTOWN
Skyline Queenstown has been awarded the highest accolade from New Zealand’s tourism quality assurance organisation, Qualmark, for its environmental and social initiatives.
The premier tourism operator has received the Qualmark Enviro Gold Award following a series of projects targeted at making Skyline Queenstown a cleaner, greener and more socially cohesive place to work and visit.
The award comes just 18 months after a Sustainable Development Team was established amongst Skyline staff – with a mandate to ensure the company respects, preserves and develops its surroundings through responsible consumption of resources and careful management of materials and waste.
Since then, more than 30 initiatives have been introduced, including tackling wilding pines – a major problem for the entire Wakatipu Basin. Skyline Queenstown now organises a group of staff and community members to pull out wilding pines on Ben Lomond on its ‘Volunteer Day’, once a quarter. More than 40 locals turned up to help at the last Volunteer Day, resulting in hundreds of wilding pines removed from the landscape.
“Wilding pines are the Sustainable Development Team’s No.1 priority because they are such a threat to our native fauna and flora. If we don’t tackle the problem, wilding pines will dramatically change the look and feel of the Wakatipu Basin, which is not good from a tourism perspective,” Sustainable Development Team Chairman and Skyline Queenstown Food and Beverage Manager Pierre Poyet says.
Other significant initiatives include investing in a cardboard baling machine so Skyline Queenstown now gets paid for its cardboard waste, instead of having to pay to have it taken away, and halving the amount of disposable coffee cups used by customers and staff.
“The total consumption of take-away coffee cups for one year was 1.3 tonnes of waste, which equates to 242,000 A4 sheets of paper and 60,000 litres of water to produce the cups,” Poyet says.
The Sustainable Development Team negotiated with the coffee supplier in order to stock re-usable cups, which Skyline Queenstown sells at cost on-site.
“We went from using 55,000 cups in 2012 to 25,000 cups in 2013. Not only is that reducing the amount of waste to the landfill, it’s also saving the company money.
These are just small initiatives but as a whole they make a big difference and as a group, we get a lot of pride out of it. We’ve proved that if you do sustainability well, it makes business sense,” Poyet adds.
“It’s also hugely gratifying to be awarded with the Qualmark Enviro Gold. When we established the Sustainable Development Team, we set out to achieve this standard. We have done it – and it’s great validation for our team, as well as a good platform to continue our drive toward a more sustainable future.”
Skyline Enterprises Chairman Mark Quickfall says: “This award proves Skyline Queenstown is leading the way when it comes to providing environmentally-conscious tourism experience – with our own team members seeking out efficient and environmentally-friendly practices to enhance our product. We’re absolutely committed to implementing initiatives that ensure the ongoing sustainability of tourism in Queenstown and New Zealand.”
Skyline Queenstown Sustainable Development team (from left): Hyeyon Yoon, Katie Russell, Lilia Rossana, Steve Wallace, chairman Pierre Poyet and Cheryl Sharpe
For more information, please contact:
Pierre Poyet, Skyline Queenstown Food and Beverage Manager and Sustainable Development Team chairman – +64 3 441 0084, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Skyline Queenstown
Skyline Queenstown is Queenstown’s most popular visitor activity. Comprising a Gondola, Restaurant and Luge, Skyline Queenstown is located on Bob’s Peak, high above Queenstown. Since the early 1960s, more than 10 million people have enjoyed one of New Zealand’s most spectacular views from the main Skyline complex at the top of the gondola. http://www.skyline.co.nz/queenstown/
About Qualmark Enviro Awards
Qualmark-rated businesses are able to apply for either a Green, Bronze, Silver or Gold Enviro Award. All businesses that display a Qualmark star grading or endorsed logo are assessed on their environmental performance and have met minimum requirements including: Having facilities in place for recycling and initiatives to reduce waste, energy or water consumption; completing and using an environmental checklist to review the environmental impacts of the business and the ability to verify all environmental claims. http://www.qualmark.co.nz/