Sustainable initiatives good for business and the planet

Date: 12th June 2019

It is increasingly recognised that sustainable investment is good for business and that investors do not necessarily have to choose between returns and positive impact. In fact, there are many compelling reasons why companies with more sustainable and ethical business practices may outperform those without.

love heart drawn on snow

With the backing of big business, a number of movements promoting these principles of sustainability are gathering momentum. 1% for the Planet is where businesses such as Patagonia donate 1% of total sales to the cause. Protect Our Winters (POW) is promoting education initiatives to protect against the effects of climate change.

Changes are happening on a more local level too. Cardrona Alpine Resort is one example of a business aiming to be a leader in sustainability in both infrastructure investment and the day-to-day running of their business. Here’s more about what they’re up to.

Sustainable infrastructure investment

Following their efforts during the 2017 McDougall’s Chondola construction project, Cardrona Alpine Resort was officially awarded the Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Council of Australia Excellent As-Built rating.

The IS Rating Scheme is Australia and New Zealand’s only comprehensive rating system for evaluating sustainability across the planning, design, construction and operational phases of infrastructure programs, projects, networks and assets.

Cardrona’s rating was the first IS rating for a ski resort infrastructure asset globally, the first IS rating for a tourism infrastructure asset globally, & the first IS As-Built rating in New Zealand. The project included a proactive approach to reducing waste such as identifying reuse opportunities for the old chairlift components; and ecological outcomes such as the replanting of native tussock grasses.

“Cardrona has been committed to improving how we can be more sustainable and was looking to find a way to help us learn as an organisation and push our desire to show leadership in the industry.  ISCA provided us with a framework to structure the sustainability objectives we had for the project, and gave us confidence we were focused on the right aspects. Now we can communicate our achievement to our stakeholders, who can also have confidence in our third-party verified achievement. We have shared our experiences with others in the industry and will continue to apply what we’ve learned through this project in our operations and future projects.”

Partnership with POW (Protect Our Winters)

Cardrona has teamed up with POW (Protect Our Winters) as a way to drive educational initiatives and community-based empowerment around sustainability of New Zealand’s alpine environment.

“As the kaitiaki (guardians) of our maunga (mountains), Cardrona place environmental considerations at the forefront of our decision making. We see our collaboration with POW as engaging with a global alliance to share ideas, initiatives and to help raise environmental awareness with our tangata (people).”

Recent sustainability initiatives at Cardrona include:

  • Diversion of thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill through feeding of food scraps to free range chickens, removal of takeaway cups & single use crockery from cafes and composting of coffee grounds
  • Planting of thousands of native tussocks
  • Establishment of a shuttle service
  • “POW Days” including preferential parking for full vehicles, reduced price shuttles and recycling awareness stations.

Learn more

To learn more about sustainability in business, go to:

1% For The Planet

United Nations Development Programme

POW (Protect Our Winters) 

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