16 April 2010
The new AUD125-million dollar resort achieved the independent certification within three months of its opening in late 2009 through a range of initiatives.
A spokesman for Emirates Hotels & Resorts, the group behind the venture, said: "Emirates has built its success upon operating at the highest level of credibility and integrity.
We describe Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa as a luxury conservation-based tourist destination and it is essential that we make every possible effort to reflect this. This certification is proof of our commitment to guests, to the environment and to Australia."
The resort, which is located in the Blue Mountains West of Sydney, achieved its carbon neutral status through large-scale environmental rehabilitation projects and ‘green’ building principles in design and construction, including solar power and heat recovery.
Cattle were removed from the site, existing vegetation areas protected, and over 175,000 trees planted in wildlife corridors and along creek banks on the site.
35% of the property’s mains-supplied energy is from renewable sources, the maximum amount currently available, and is dedicated to sourcing regional food and supplies within a 100-mile radius, thus further reducing emissions associated with the transportation of these materials.
Solar panels are used for all hot water systems, all buildings harvest rainwater and the property also recycles 100% of the domestic water it uses.
The resort is not self-sufficient however, Mr Williams added: "Although it was necessary to buy a small quantity of carbon credits to achieve carbon neutrality for Wolgan Valley, this will only be necessary for the first year or two of operation."