Success Stories/General Articles/Commentary
Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter members are always implementing new and innovative sustainable business practices. Check back here regularly to learn about the contributions Charter member businesses are making towards sustainability. Here you will also find general articles and commentary relating to sustainability and the Charter.
New HQ planned for Off Road NZ
Oct 23, 2008
Many Rotorua locals have been lucky enough to enjoy the exciting and sometimes whacky adventures offered by Off Road NZ and would be familiar with the Mamaku based company’s headquarters building. Well, the owners of Off Road NZ, Ian and Carol Tew, have decided to relocate the company headquarters to a new location on site. “The old building is simply not suitable any more and building a new one also gives us the opportunity to incorporate sustainability elements into its design” says Ian.
As well as including double glazing, higher than standard insulation, an improved wastewater system and design that takes advantage of natural light, the new building will also collect rain water from the roof which will be used to flush toilets and wash vehicles. An added benefit of moving to the new location is its proximity to the operational driving areas which will reduce the business’s carbon emissions. “The current headquarters is about 1 km from the operational driving area. This means we use around 465 litres of fuel a year to transfer visitors to the operational area. As well as saving on fuel costs we will also be reducing our carbon footprint by around 1.2 tonnes a year” says Ian.
In addition to incorporating sustainability into the design of the new building, Ian and Carol have taken smaller, yet significant actions to make the company more sustainable. “We’ve included questions around sustainability when we first interview staff and discuss the company’s sustainability ethic during the induction process. This ensures staff are on board from the start” says Ian. Sustainability is also a regular item for discussion during staff meetings. This ensures the issue is kept fresh in everyone’s mind and offers an opportunity for staff to put forward suggestions.
Other actions taken by Off Road NZ include updating the Vision and Mission Statement to reflect the company’s sustainability ethic, including a page on the website dedicated to information on sustainability, having recycling stations for both staff and visitors, placing the Charter plaque and sustainability information on the customer notice board, choosing uniform suppliers with a strong sustainability ethic, ensuring catering contractors recycle their waste when catering to Off Road NZ visitors, constructing a drying room that relies on solar and wind to dry clothes, replacing plastic shopping bags with paper bags and emailing invoices instead of sending hard copies.
Ian and Carol are aware that addressing the company’s carbon footprint is a key issue for their company. “At this stage we’re doing everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint including assessing the vehicles we use and how they are used. In the long term we will look at offsetting any emissions we can’t avoid” says Ian.