Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat wins innovation award

Maria Garcia
August 19, 2019

Earlier this month Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat - one of Sust’s featured projects - received an important recognition from its peers in the hospitality sector when it took home the Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) Sustainability Innovation Award for 2019. This award recognises businesses that are taking bold steps towards meeting the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment and its four focus areas: economic, host community, visitor and environmental sustainability.

Innovation has been embedded into Camp Glenorchy’s ethos since the very beginning. Early on, the clients, along with the design team, set ambitious sustainability goals that guided the project’s design and construction, and those goals continue to guide day-to-day operations. Information about this process was documented and shared online for others to learn from, first on Camp Glenorchy’s website and now on Sust.

Ailsa Carroll, Camp Glenorchy's sustainability coordinator, takes a group of sustainability professionals for a tour of the composting toilet's basement

Located at the head of Lake Wakatipu, just a 45-minute drive from Queenstown, Camp Glenorchy was built following the philosophy of the Living Building Challenge. Currently it is working towards becoming the world’s first net-positive energy and net-positive water visitor accommodation site and achieving Living Building Challenge Petal certification.

Visitors to Camp Glenorchy are able to experience first-hand innovative technologies that reduce energy and water use without compromising on comfort or aesthetics. Educational opportunities are available throughout the site, and an in-room tablet app allows guests to learn how their actions can contribute to reducing the environmental impacts of their stay. The goal is that visitors are able to understand not only what was done but why it was done, and, more importantly, how the lessons learned can be adapted to their particular situation back at home.

Interactive tablets in cabins allow guests to control their energy and water use while learning about Camp Glenorchy's sustainability approach

The Sustainability Innovation Award is an important recognition of Camp Glenorchy’s efforts to educate and inspire both visitors and peers alike. Leading by example, Camp Glenorchy is demonstrating that the hospitality’s typically large environmental footprint can be reduced through a deep commitment to sustainability, education and meaningful engagement with the people who visit, work and live around the site. Camp Glenorchy is also showing how investing in these strategies can pay off in the long run. The project is well on track to achieve the goal of using 50% less energy and water than similar facilities. In doing so, it is reducing not only the amount of resources used but also its operating costs.

Camp Glenorchy’s stories, resources and data are being shared in the hope that people around the world will be inspired to make steps large and small towards a better built environment. It is this aspiration that brings Camp Glenorchy and Sust together. We are very excited to be sharing Camp Glenorchy’s sustainability journey on Sust and to celebrate this important achievement with them.

We are currently working on a themed series about innovative approaches to heating and comfort that will include articles about Camp Glernochy’s water-based heating system, as well as on the process followed by the design team to achieve year-round comfort with minimal energy use.

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To learn more about the Sustainability Innovation Award click here or book a trip to Camp Glenorchy to learn all about their sustainability strategies first-hand.