YHA Becomes First Carbonzero Certified Accommodation Network
22 November 2016
YHA New Zealand Becomes First Carbonzero Certified Accommodation Network
By YHA New Zealand
New Zealand: YHA New Zealand’s managed network of 14 hostels and its National Office have become the first accommodation network worldwide to become carboNZeroCertTM certified.
Chief Executive, Mark Wells says, “YHA has been operating an environmentally sustainable network for many years and the carboNZeroCertTMcertification confirms our commitment with a globally recognised and independently audited system. We are delighted to have achieved this recognition.”
The carboNZeroCertTM certification represents a program of measuring, reducing, and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions over a period of 3 years, verified by Enviro-Mark Solutions Ltd. While currently offsetting emissions, YHA New Zealand is committed to continual reductions in actual emissions.
Property Manager, Chris Arnold, says, “Through the measurement process we’ve learned that the largest contributor to our emissions is electricity use. This reinforces our intention to continue installing solar power across the network in order to keep reducing our carbon footprint.”
YHA has a robust sustainability program in place throughout their directly managed hostels. Initiatives include minimising water use, reducing waste through recycling, insulating and double glazing properties to lower electricity use, and installing solar and geothermal power as financial resources allow. Guests are also given the opportunity to reduce the impact of their travel by purchasing native trees through the Green Footprint Project, founded by YHA in 2004.
YHA has chosen to stay local in offsetting their existing emissions by supporting the Hinewai Reserve on Banks Peninsula. The reserve, previously farmland and gorse, is now 1250 hectares of regenerating native bush and home to many species of birds. It’s considered a high quality source of carbon credits and as such, comes with a higher price tag than some of the overseas-based credits available.
Of YHA’s involvement in Hinewai, the Reserve Manager, Hugh Wilson, says, “It’s helped Hinewai enormously. We’re looking at another little bit of land we might be able to get and it’s brought it into the realms of possibility, or we’d be struggling otherwise.”
This carboNZeroCertTM certification comes on the back of international recognition from the World Youth and Student Travel Conference at the Global Youth Travel Awards in September. YHA New Zealand won the Best Green Accommodation Initiative, which recognises accommodation providers with the most comprehensive environmentally sustainable programmes.
Learn more about YHA’s carboNZeroCertTM certification: https://www.yha.co.nz/sustainability/carbonzero
Learn more about the Green Footprint Project: https://www.yha.co.nz/sustainability/our-initiatives/green-footprint