Ōhau Snow Fields and Lake Ōhau Lodge are committed to becoming progressively more sustainable in day-to-day operations.
Snow fields, in particular, are windows through which critical issues such as global warming can be observed. Hence it is important that we demonstrate leadership in the areas of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the efficient use and treatment of water, avoiding waste and chemical use, community engagement, and, maintaining healthy waterways and ecosystems. Sustainability also makes good business sense - in implementing initiatives we become more aware and more efficient.
The 'Ōhau Sustainable' program identified areas where we could improve and we have achieved the following:
- Gained Enviro-Gold accreditation from Qualmark
- installed mains power to the Snow Fields, thus reducing GHG emissions, air particulates and energy costs
- a hydro scheme producing 20-30 KWH which heats a 20,000L hot water cylinder which is circulated through the Lodge to provide radiator heating
- installed an Expleco glass crusher, which converts glass bottles into a local and usable aggregate resource (saving waste landfill space and GHG emissions caused by trucking these bottles to landfill)
- upgraded our waste recycling program in the 'Avalunch Cafe'
- working towards removing single use plastic. Most rooms do not have bin liners now and rubbish bins are washed out which also means more rubbish goes into recycling rather than waste. We provide reusable polycarbonate glasses for the spa area instead of single use plastic
- removed plastic straws, we discourage coffee cup lids and encourage people to not buy water in plastic but to reuse their water bottles and refill with our delicious water from the spring behind the Lodge,
- our food waste is fed to pigs
- have use a local laundry in Twizel
- We donate all our lost property to the Community Care Centre shop in Twizel which provides support for the local community
- We collect all our wine bottle tops for a Canterbury Lions Club fundraiser for child cancer support.
Purchasing at Lake Ōhau Lodge & Ōhau Snow Fields is always driven by sustainability and environmental considerations.
- Food is made from scratch to reduce travel emissions and packaging
- We use local providers, Bells Honey from Twizel who place their hives under our manuka clad hills in December, Campbells Butchery in Oamaru who have been in business for the last 100 years and supply us with our beef and pork, local Aoraki salmon, Cardrona Merino lamb, NZ Biograins in Ashburton who supply organic flour milled in NZ for our home made bread.
- We focus on local suppliers also for our beer and wine, we support Ostler vineyards in the Waitaki Valley, we purchase beer from Three Boys in Christchurch and Scott's Brewery in Oamaru
- We use C4 coffee company from Christchurch who supply us with Fair Trade coffee
- We use Forest & Bird bath and shower products which are a paper based, single serve solution eliminating any chance of contamination and are the paper based sachet will degrade in under 10 years. Every time you use on of these products a percentage of it's value goes directly to Forest & Bird to support their invaluable work in protecting animals and wild places, on land and in our oceans.
- We choose NZ wool for all our carpets
- The topper pads on our beds are made from recycled plastic bottles which is transformed into ultra-fine luxury microfibre. As a bedding product these fibres provide a non allergenic, optimal support which our guests rave over.
Mike was actively involved in the Mackenzie Trust working towards protecting the natural biodiversity, landscape, freshwater, cultural, pastoral, recreational and heritage values that make the Mackenzie basin iconic. He was the Alps2Ocean Chairman of the Joint Committee between the two local councils, Waitaki District Council and the Mackenzie District Council. Mike and Louise were Chair and Secretary of the now disbanded Ōhau Protection Society whose object was to promote the protection of the natural/naturalistic wildlife, water, air, vegetation, heritage and landscape values of the Lake Ōhau area.