Our company-wide commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability is best described by our Environmental Policy, which applies to all our Auckland Tours and NZ Tours:
E Everybody’s Responsibility
N No Rubbish or Excuses
V Valuing all Natural Resources
I Integrity in all Business Relationships and Practices
R Recycle & Reduce Waste
O Opportunity to Educate & Inform our Clients
N New Approaches to Saving and Caring for the Environment
M Minimising our Impact & Leaving only Footprints
E Energy Efficiency
N New Zealand Made
T Training and Development in Environmental Practices
E = Everybody’s Responsibility
Our philosophy is that the environment is not something that will take care of itself but WE need to do our bit to assist in its preservation. Many people feel that one or a few persons can’t make a difference, with the result that they don’t change their ways and attitudes. Our view is that not only can one person actually make a difference but even more importantly, we have the great opportunity to instil a value-set in our clients that are more or less receptive to valuing the amazing places we visit during our tours. This applies to all our Auckland and New Zealand Tours.
N = No Rubbish or Excuses
New Zealand is well-known the world over as a clean and green destination and we intend to keep it that way. Part of this culture we have in our company is to ensure that nobody on any of our tours leaves any rubbish behind. Furthermore, another goal is to ensure on every Auckland Tour to find at least one other piece of rubbish (i.e. someone else’s) and take that out with us too. Nothing is more disappointing to us than when we go to some of the beautiful places we visit, only to find that others have left their own distasteful footprint by littering. Our aim is to clean up after ourselves AND others as much as possible.
V = Valuing all Natural Resources
We value all natural resources in the areas in which we operate. This includes plants, animals, tracks we walk on, the sea we swim in etc. This means that no packaging, transport to supermarket with emissions etc. need to be incurred when taking this approach.
I = Integrity in all Business Relationships and Practices
It is our policy to adopt a long-term, integrated approach to managing our company and the way in which we work alongside our Business Partners. We also seek to work with Partners and Suppliers who also have integrity in their business and an environmental focus. By this we mean that we seek out Business Partners who have a similar respect for our nation’s natural and cultural heritage the way we do. For example, we often give our clients a little gift of appreciation to show how much we value their custom. Souvenirs made from Paua are ideal, since it is equally beautiful and is reflected in our logo. When buying Paua gifts we always try to ensure that the Paua was sourced in a legal way from reputable suppliers.
R = Recycle and Reduce Waste
Where possible we recycle everything we use, or at least reduce the amount of waste we produce during our tours and all other business activities. Recycling extends to the materials we use on our tours, some of the products we select based on how much/how little packaging is used, as well as ensuring we reduce to a minimal amount any waste we produce by using those products.
A good example is the use of food catering utensils such as plates, mugs and knives, which in all cases are re-used on our tours and are never disposable items. In terms of our business practices we choose to use refill printer cartridges, use both side of print paper for draft purposes and recycle all plastics, cardboard and non-biodegradeable computer equipment in a responsible manner.
O = Opportunity to Educate & Inform our Clients
Unfortunately, some of the clients on our tour have little understanding of sustainability, i.e. our wish to operate in the same beautiful place in decades from now. An attitude of “take what you can” seems prevalent in many people. We have a unique opportunity in that we can spend one or several days with our clients in a stunning area, which means we can do our best to educate them about what all of us can do to keep it that way.
Some of our clients come from heavily industrialised and polluted areas and marvel at the cleanliness of where we go with them, while at the same time e.g. “forgetting” to pick up their rubbish after lunch. We do make a point of picking it up for them and letting them know that we cleaned up after them. Normally this approach is actually more effective than telling someone off, since it gives them a bad conscience - but always with a smile. This may increase the chances of them thinking twice the next time they “forget” their rubbish.
N = New Approaches to Saving and Caring for the Environment
We see ourselves as a company that leads by example. After all, we have created several innovative products and our company needs to constantly look for new approaches to saving and caring for our natural surroundings to preserve them. Furthermore, while it is always easier to do so, we also DON’T look away when others are breaking the law, for example by poaching seafood or exceeding the legal limits, disturbing wildlife or when littering. In our view such activities are unacceptable and when safe to do we advise people of their actions or contact the appropriate authority to deal with the situation.
M = Minimising our Impact & Leaving only Footprints
We have a policy of minimal impact and ideally leaving no trace of our activities behind. This deals with how we affect the area while on our visit. The next group or person travelling should not be able to see that we were even there, apart perhaps from our footprints. The landscape or wildlife should not be altered in any way by our visit.
E = Energy Efficiency
By the very nature of what we do, we leave a minimal carbon footprint. Most of our day and overnight tours include showing our guests Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) and Aotearoa (New Zealand) on a very small scale. Minimising the energy we use is important to us and we do this during our eco-friendly tours, where we continuously work on optimising our energy efficiency.
Our activities are extremely low-impact and have very little or no noise pollution. Examples are to turn off lights when they are not needed in our office, minimising the amount of printing we do (storing electronically instead) and down to such things as regularly servicing our cars to ensure energy efficiency.
N = New Zealand Made
Where possible, we attempt to buy New Zealand made and to support local products. Moreover, as we are Auckland based we attempt to support the local community and business whenever we can to ensure they remain competitive and sustainable in the current business environment. We could buy cheaper products imported from overseas but deliberately choose New Zealand made wherever possible even when the price is higher. This also extends to our partners in the tour and accommodation sector. Where possible, we choose to work with New Zealand owned businesses, provided they have a similar approach to sustainability.
T = Training and Development in Environmental Practices
It is easier to say there’s nothing one small organisation can do - but actually we can. This is especially so with regard to the multiplying effect whereby we can influence many clients to change their attitude and we achieve this by constantly developing our knowledge base so we can share this with others. We are also conscious that we are only guests in the areas in which we travel and we need to treat the area with respect and care. This includes any land that is sacred to tangata whenua, i.e. local Maori land. By taking a pro-active approach by training in the areas of improving our business practices, understanding the risk management issues and developing our knowledge, we take the next step on our business journey before it becomes a requirement or even accepted standard practice.