Our Environmental Efforts
Taking care of Milford Sound, one of the most pristine places on the planet
Here at Milford Sound Lodge, we live and work in one of New Zealand’s most beautiful wilderness locations. And we want it to stay that way.
Sustainability in one of New Zealand’s most important natural landscapes means consideration of everything we do. From the products and materials we bring in, to the way we dispose of food scraps, rubbish and greywater. Our reputation, and the future of the ecosystem here, depends on our guardianship of this area.
Surrounded by nature at its most pure, we are passionate about managing the impact we have on the environment.
Here’s how we minimise our footprint
Remove and Recycle
Our goal is to be paper-free by 2021, plastic-free by 2023 and landfill-free by 2025. It’s a big goal and one which involves the ongoing assessment of our waste, and a continual search for alternative options and alternative final locations.
Some initiatives currently running at Milford Sound Lodge include printing audits to determine where we can remove printing on paper, delivering spent coffee beans to a local school for their veggie garden and food scraps to a local pig farm. We don’t supply throw-away consumables as in-room guest amenities.
There’s still more to be done, and our current projects include sourcing kegged milk instead of plastic milk bottles (currently, milk bottles are one of our biggest sources of plastic waste). Some changes in purchasing will soon mean we are only purchasing beer in cans instead of glass, tea leaves instead of tea bags and re-using paper coffee bags for notepads.
Everything we use at the lodge is considered first to determine whether it will leave a negative or positive footprint. The team is encouraged to source New Zealand-made wherever possible (like our in-room amenities) and every company we work with is evaluated before any agreements are made.
Pio Pio restaurant focuses on a locally-sourced style menu. We look to source products locally before searching further afield. We currently serve locally-roasted coffee, and all beverages are New Zealand products supplied by a small local liquor store. This not only helps us support local businesses but also to reduce the carbon footprint of transport. You’ll find local wine and craft beer on the Pio Pio menu alongside delicious produce like Stewart Island salmon and Fiordland venison.
From cleaning products to the detergent we use to wash our dishes, we prioritise the use of eco-friendly products that don’t use toxic chemicals which could end up in our waterways. As well as this, we also consider efficient transport options like team carpooling, community rubbish collection and limiting truck deliveries.
Energy-saving and efficiency are considered at every point of operation, and we strive to make considered decisions every time. A few of our initiatives so far include installing LED lighting, optimising the use of resources (e.g. when the oven is on, maximise it) and the team have jointly decided to limit shower times.
Staff and guest engagement
Our team lives onsite at Milford Sound Lodge, so learning to live sustainability within a remote and pristine environment is an integral part of the staff induction process. Our Green Project is something every Milford Sound Lodge team member takes part in. The project encourages staff to be mindful of, and to suggest new ways, to minimise our impact on the local environment. All team members are actively involved in putting forward suggestions, so the project is able to continually develop.
To affect real change, everyone needs to play their part. At Milford Sound Lodge, our team actively engages in conversations with guests about how we can all do better. Staff explain our environmental initiatives as well as place reminders around the building. This also encourages team open discussions and new initiatives.