Running a small business sustainably and ethically was always our dream. In 2013 we purchased what became Whakaipo Lodge from Peter and Sarah Foreman. With assistance from the community and the Environmental Defence Society of NZ, they were instrumental in protecting Mapara Valley and Whakaipo Bay from planned urban development, a fight that went all the way to the Environment Court. This protection, the significant plantings, the proximity to Lake Taupo and the Department of Conservation-managed Whakaipo Bay Reserve are what makes this location so special.
Whakaipo Lodge is Climate Positive/Carbon Negative*. We extract more than we emit. (This also includes Adventure Shuttles and our agricultural emissions)
- Whakaipo Lodge is certified by Qualmark, whose Sustainable Tourism Business (STB) Criteria are recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for being equivalent to the GSTC Industry Criteria.
- Members of the Tourism Industry Aotearoa Sustainable Tourism Commitment.
- Members of the Sustainable Tourism Program pilot with TIA/Love Taupo in 2022.
- Our concert program, fundraising and partnerships give the equivalent of approximately 3% of our revenues, in cash or kind, to community initiatives or charities. Beneficiaries are Bike Taupo, Love Taupo, Greenlea Rescue Helicopter Service & HELP (Sexual Abuse Wellington).
- We have joined the Tiaki Promise, a Tourism NZ program to educate our visitors in caring for New Zealand for now and future generations. Maori principles of Kaitiakitanga (guardianship of our whenua or land, a different concept to ownership), Manaakitanga (hospitality) form the basis of the program. Guests at Whakaipo Lodge experience these principles
- Design is along passive solar design principles.
- Upgrading and addition of heat pump systems for heating results in relatively low emissions.
- Appliances are sourced based on energy and water efficiency.
- Water is sourced by bore from the local aquifer and captured from our roof. It is treated using micro filtration and UV to potable standard.
- Wastewater is treated using an inground septic system.
- Lighting has been upgraded to LEDs throughout.
- Most food preparation is from first principles, and use of local provenance.
- Much of our produce is grown in the Lodge Garden or in our Orchard.
- Waste is minimised by composting, sorting and recycling. Output is measured.
- Locally manufactured products and refillable containers are used for guest consumables.
- Energy conservation practices are encouraged with tent cards.
- Assisted Greening Taupo native regeneration planting projects in Whakaipo Bay.
- Mulch from our garden is used for soil improvement. Waste wood and pruning supplement fuel for our wood fire.
- Our small business engages the services of many locals in construction trades, garden and agricultural services, entertainment and hospitality contributing economically to our community.
- We undertake trapping and baiting of predator species, especially rats, possums and stoats. We are further extending our trapline in 2023.
- Our companion business, Adventure Shuttles, is partnered with the NZ Department of Conservation to enable access to our conservation estate for the purpose of biking and hiking, both activities that deliver high visitor satisfaction and low environmental impact.
- Future plans include further upgrading of insulation, further tree plantings, a second orchard and solar photo voltaic installation to utilise daytime-generated energy. We are also looking to establish an eco-friendly glamping experience.
*NZ Ministry for the Environment. Measuring Emissions: A Guide for Organisations 2019. GHG evaluation is a self-audit and has not been independently verified.