Sustainability to us means happy and healthy staff, enjoyment for our guests with low impact to the environment. We are looking to maintain a financially sustainable business model that does no harm and enhances the lives of all those involved. Here are some of our initiatives:

Qualmark Silver Award

We recently achieved the Qualmark Silver Sustainable Tourism Business Award. The criteria for the Sustainable Tourism Award aligns with many of our existing practices and values, so we are pleased to gain this stamp of approval from New Zealand tourism’s official mark of quality.

Qualmark aims to acknowledge high-performing businesses that are delivering a holistic, mindful and sustainable approach. The four key areas focused on include:

  • Environment and culture
  • Social and people
  • Health, safety and wellness
  • Economic performance

We have Gold in our sights and are working towards this next level.

Chemical Free

Our cleaning team do not use any chemicals. Our goal was to be kind to the environment and at the same time kind to our staff. Initiating this change was simple.

A recent report by Consumer NZ confirmed that water alone cleans just as effectively as most cleaning products. We also have a secret weapon: microfibre cleaning cloths. The cloths use microfibres to remove bacteria effectively. We ran tests and the lab results revealed the micro-cloths produced better results than chemical cleaning. We continue to gain high guest satisfaction for cleanliness and our staff are happy to not be working with chemicals day-in, day-out.

Single Use Plastics

We do not use single use plastic bags; this means no unnecessary bin liners or rubbish sacks. This has also been a simple change; our cleaning team manages this simply and easily. Single use plastic bags were an unnecessary addition in our business.


We work with a company called Beyond Skin Deep to turn our empty bottles into fence posts. We not only reduce our landfill waste but we also give the material a second life as fence posts for farms and wineries. These fence posts are high quality and last a long time.

Staff care

Here at the Wanaka Hotel we are a tight-knit team. Collectively we have worked here for over 200 years. We take care of one another and we have some proactive initiatives in place to keep us safe and well. We are mindful of the physical nature of many tasks involved with keeping our hotel operations so we sought out advice on how to keep our team strong. We work with The Physio Room here in Wanaka who deliver customised sessions for our team to ensure the correct movements while lifting, cleaning and moving furniture. We continually look for ways to keep our staff healthy and happy.