Pinetrees Lodge is one of the oldest family businesses in Australia. We’ve been hosting guests on Lord Howe Island since the 1880’s, and our family has lived at Pinetrees since the 1840’s. To date, the business has passed through six generations.
We operate as a full-service hotel where guests find the perfect balance of indulgence, relaxation and adventure. Lord Howe is World Heritage listed and all of our activities are world-class. Guests also enjoy yoga classes, cooking classes, spa treatments, and sunset drinks on our waterfront deck overlooking the pristine Lord Howe Lagoon.
Pinetrees was TripAdvisor’s No.1 Hotel in Australia in 2017, 2018 and 2020. We were also TripAdvisor’s No.1 Hotel in the South Pacific in 2020, ahead of all hotels in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and Tahiti. Much of our success comes from genuine family service, food that rivals any one-hat restaurant, and a range of adventure experiences that guide guests through Lord Howe’s iconic locations. Our motto is “fatter but fitter”.
“We want to demonstrate that small to medium businesses like ours can lead on environmental and social issues, and still be profitable.”
Type of certification
How long have you been certified carbon neutral?
Since November 2020.
Why did you choose to go carbon neutral?
We believe in action over words. We decided that we were in a position to be proactive custodians of our land, and our broader environment.
What are the anticipated benefits of your carbon neutral certification?
We want to demonstrate that small to medium businesses like ours can lead on environmental and social issues, and still be profitable. In our view, it now makes perfect business sense to offer holidays at a carbon neutral hotel. Consumers have an enormous range of choice about where they travel and how they engage with their destination, and our carbon neutral certification should help people through our booking funnel. As well as additional business (and more appreciative guests), carbon neutrality will engage our staff in some bigger picture ideas and help build genuine business to business relationships with new suppliers. Our guests love stories, and the carbon neutral story is a great one.
What offset projects do you support?
A biodiversity reserve project in Indonesia and a native forest protection project in Tasmania.
Why did you choose these projects?
We understand the importance of forest conservation in the tropics, and particularly any process that stops the conversion of peat forests to oil palm plantations. We felt that the biodiversity project in Central Kalimantan ticked multiple boxes, including the protection of a large area of Orangutan habitat (which also includes 300 species of bids, 122 species of mammals and 180 species of trees and plants). The project also has strong community-based initiatives including increased employment for communities, greater access to medical and health services, and assistance with education.
Our investment in the native forest protection project was guided by our interest in forest conservation on private land. While we support the activities of government parks and wildlife agencies, we think that there’s enormous scope to grow our national conservation estate through the actions of incentivised private landholders.
What else are you doing to reduce emissions?
The Lord Howe Island Board’s Solar Renewable Energy Project will convert 75% of our diesel power to solar power by the end of 2020. We’re now making contact with suppliers of carbon neutral products, such as Five Founders, Ross Hill, BioPak and Qantas, to lower our scope 3 emissions.
We’re also running our own Sallywood Swamp Forest Restoration Project in the Pinetrees back paddock. Sallywood Swamp Forests are a Critically Endangered Ecological Community in NSW. Over 95% of the original forest coverage was destroyed by grazing, and only a few patches remain. During 2020, we planted around 3000 trees and palms, and in 2021, we’ll build our own nursery and plant another 3000 trees and palms to the south of the current project site. All going well, by 2030, we will have doubled the amount of Sallywood Swamp Forest on Lord Howe Island (and on the planet). This forest restoration is not included in our formal carbon offset calculations, but it’s probably one of our most important projects.
What has been the impact of your action?
We’ve renovated all guests rooms (following solar passive design principles), a 95% conversion to LED lights, installation of new wiring and switch boards, installation of new commercial refrigeration plant, installation of new bar fridges, construction of an undercover drying deck to reduce the use of the commercial dryers, installation of water saving taps and toilets in all guest rooms, and installation of state-of-the-art Fuji wastewater systems. We’ve also changed the restaurant and laundry operations to reduce water and power consumption, invested in new vehicles, removed heaters from guest rooms, reduced our waste, installed worm farms and compost bins, and built a large organic market garden to limit food miles. All up, we’ve reduced our power consumption by 30% and water consumption by 35%.
What advice would you give to a business considering certification?
Carbon neutral certification is good for business.