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Waitomo’s First Zero Carbon Glowworm Cave Tour Operator

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Waitomo cave tour operator Glowing Adventures has just achieved Climate Positive Business Operations certification for the 2018 Calendar Year with ekos.

This small but thriving family business takes “off the beaten track” small group tours through the incredible private cave system on their family farm.

The ekos team phoned with the good news about certification this morning, and with DOC’s Conservation Week in full swing, the timing couldn’t be better.

To achieve Climate Positive Business Operations means that Glowing Adventures measured and offset all 120% of the CO2 emissions from its day to day operations during 2018, including electricity, waste, freight, and company vehicles. It also involves a carbon reduction plan that the company will deliver through time.

Owners Michelle and Stefan Boddie worked with carbon measurement and offsetting social enterprise ekos to calculate and offset the carbon footprint of their business operations.

Once the CO2 output was quantified, the next step was to choose a native reforestation or protection project and purchase carbon credits to offset the emissions from their business operations. The number of carbon credits Glowing Adventures purchased has offset 120% off its measured CO2 emissions, so the business is in fact ‘climate positive’.

Next year Glowing Adventures plans to offset its carbon footprint with a homegrown reforestation project - planting 10,000 native trees on their land thanks to a partnership with Environment Waikato.

For business owners Michelle and Stefan, Climate Positive Business Operations certification is an exciting milestone in their journey to become a truly sustainable tourism operator. When they opened Glowing Adventures four years ago it was always the plan to be light on the land.

“We are basically sharing the incredible backyard we were lucky enough to grow up playing in. With our caving tours we wanted to keep that feeling of exploring the native bush and glowworm caves just as we found them as kids” says Stefan.

“We’ve been careful not to modify our caves with electric lights or handrails that would take away from the authenticity of the experience and interfere with the natural environment.”

“It just made sense to apply that same philosophy to our business as a whole. To be truly sustainable we had to look closely at what we’re doing every day, from how we deal with our rubbish right through to delivery of the groceries. It was a great exercise which really opened our eyes to how we can run our business in the most sustainable way possible.”

Glowing Adventures is proud to be part of the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment which aims to see every New Zealand tourism business committed to sustainability by 2025.

With a pest control programme well underway and fencing continuing along the waterways on the Glowing Adventures farm, this local business is definitely on the right track.


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