Environmental Sustainability

Environmental Sustainability

Environmental Initiatives

Making a positive impact on the environment is the cornerstone of all business practices at The Rees Hotel, Queenstown through several of our initiatives below.

Carbon Neutral

The Rees Hotel has determined that it will be an industry leader in the achievement of Carbon Neutral status, through the measurement of its Carbon Footprint, the adoption of new practices to reduce Carbon emissions, and we are researching ways to support Carbon Emission Offset projects to compensate for any emissions that we are unable to eliminate.

  • We recycle used soap via the Soap Aid Initiative
  • We aim to source local and New Zealand goods and services
  • We provide Tesla and Electric Car charges at no cost to our guests and the general public
  • Our kitchen team maintain a herb garden on site to use in our restaurant food recipes
  • We provide eco-friendly pencils in all our rooms made from recycled paper and imported via sea to reduce our carbon footprint.
  • We upgraded our PMS system (RMS) which has significantly reduced if not eliminated paper from our daily procedures. Paperless check in using our digital registration program and the ability to email a tax invoice upon check out 2021.
  • We use compostable bags for our guest amenities with compostable labels. All our sweets are sourced locally where possible to reduce freight and energy costs.
  • We upgraded our phone system and were left with over 200 old room phones. We donated these to all the local Daycare centres and Kindergartens in the district to keep them from going into landfill.
  • We now share a link on our in-room tablets for guests to view the Sky TV Guide – which eliminated 150+ magazines each month.
  • We supply all our minibars and guest amenity waters with ANEW – Reusable plant-based bottle.

Energy Conservation

Design and construction practices have been followed that deliver acoustic and thermal insulation that significantly exceeds current New Zealand standards.

  • We have installed a Toshiba Green model air-conditioning across the hotel at a cost of over $3 million (2021-2022)
  • We use LED lightbulbs only across the hotel, both internally and externally
  • All underfloor heating, wall heaters, and gas fireplaces are thermostatically controlled so that energy use can be managed and conserved. In addition, when rooms are vacant – our centrally controlled air-conditioned system is managed accordingly to conserve energy.
  • All windows are double-glazed to conserve energy efficiency
  • Our electricity is sourced via Manawa Energy which produces over 99% of it’s generation output from renewable resources.

Water Conservation

  • Sophisticated water-efficient fixtures – such as shower heads, tap aerators and dual flush toilets – are standard throughout The Rees Hotel.
  • We have implemented a towel and linen exchange policy designed to minimize waste of water and the use of laundry products.
  • Grey water is removed from the central laundry and re-used for garden irrigation.
  • Stormwater drains are marked to warn against use for the disposal of other wastes. Oil/water separators are installed in storm water catch pits servicing car parking areas. Cleaning materials used at The Rees Hotel are where possible non-toxic and biodegradable. Dual bins are provided in all apartments to enable guests to sort and separate organic and inorganic wastes.

Nature Conservation Efforts

  • Beech Cove – the location of The Rees Hotel – has a beneficial microclimate that has supported the survival of a natural grove of beech trees whereas most of the original vegetation on the shoreline has vanished or been replaced. Two types of mistletoe (endemic to NZ) occupy the canopies of some of these long-standing Beech trees – a rarity according to advice from qualified conservationists.
  • The Rees Hotel Queenstown has taken care to preserve the beech grove, by creating a public reserve around the glade at the western border of the site. The walkway and the glade are protected in perpetuity by a covenant on the title of The Rees Hotel, and a new landscaped reserve featuring additional native plants is being created and will provide access from Frankton Road to the Foreshore walkway. As a result, an important ecological feature is being preserved and enhanced.
  • We purchase Forest and Bird amenities for all our guest rooms – Forest & Bird is Aotearoa/New Zealand’s leading independent conservation organisation.
  • We launched our Forgo to Grow programme in Winter 2022. For every housekeeping service that is forgo by our guests, we donate the costs monthly to the local Whakatipu Reforestation Trust to purchase trees to plant.
  • As part of our nature conservation pillar, we partnered with Wakatipu Wildlife Trust in 2019 to set up predator-free traps on Lake Wakatipu. We have donated 15 traps to the trust for the management of pests in the area.
  • We donate to the Kea Conservation Trust through the minibar sales of Gilbret, the Kea.

Farm to Flat White

In 2020, we partnered with Spout to support their ‘Farm to Flat White’ model with the delivery of fresh milk from Windy Ridge Farm. In doing so, we helped them achieve one of their Sustainability goals that we too are passionate about.

“In New Zealand alone, an estimated 380,000 plastic milk bottles are thrown away by the hospitality industry every week, with around 70% of these ending up in landfill. We set out to change this with stainless steel kegs. Every time one of our kegs are used, it displaces five plastic bottles and can be reused thousands of times over. This goes a long way towards reducing plastic waste and carbon emissions. An average cafe using our kegs could save over 3,120 plastic bottles every year.”

Visit their website for more details: spout.co.nz

Chunky Coffee Cups

We have an opportunity to support recycling in a fun, arty, and meaningful way when having your coffee; the ownership of your own reusable cup. In partnership with Chunky earlier this year (2021), we all hope that this programme will lead to this important behavioural change. It will also lead to fewer single-use cups thus reducing our carbon footprint by not using takeaway paper cups.

A sustainable way to enjoy your coffee moving forward, so get your chunky cup with us today and receive a refund at participating cafes/restaurants when returning your chunky cup.
Check out the Chunky story here: chunky.nz

How it Works

Pay us, or your favourite café $10 as a refundable deposit for the use of the Loan Cup. You can either bring the clean cup back to be used for your next coffee, or if it’s a dirty cup we can swap it for a clean one. Art series cups are also available for sale. Supported by the QLDC Waste Minimisation Community Fund.

The Rees Sustainability Commitments