A first for New Zealand: Kaikoura Platinum Certification for Environmental Performance

The environmental practices of the Kaikoura Community have been recognized by EarthCheck; and awarded Kaikoura Platinum Certification for Environmental Performance.

Kaikoura is the first community in the Southern Hemisphere to achieve platinum certification from EarthCheck and has been collecting environmental information since 1999.

EarthCheck is the world’s leading environmental benchmarking and certification program for the travel and tourism industry and now operates in over 80 countries across the globe.

What is remarkable is that the Kaikoura Community has successfully entered its tenth year of being audited and certified under the EarthCheck Program.

“Congratulations to the entire Kaikoura District Council team who were involved in achieving this prestigious milestone,” says Stewart Moore, CEO of EC3 Global. “Your Platinum Certification now places you as a leader in the unique worldwide group of sustainable tourism operators and communities that are Certified to the internationally recognised EarthCheck Community Standard.”

Lincoln University’s Professor of Tourism David Simmons congratulated Kaikoura District for its achievement. Professor Simmons was a member of the first research team which worked on the District’s initial environmental benchmarking study in 2001. “We are all part of a single New Zealand brand” he said, “it is important that we take the opportunity to “walk the talk’ through measuring, managing and telling the story of our own pathways towards sustainability.” Professor Simmons urged other communities and operators to follow Kaikoura’s lead, as the EarthCheck program clearly reinforces New Zealand’s 100 per cent Pure positioning.

Mayor Winston Gray also congratulated the Community for their involvement in sustainability programs. “It requires the commitment of all residents, businesses and key stakeholders, as well as a readiness to submit to expert scrutiny. The result demonstrates that the whole Community does consider everyday practices and choose to act sustainably.”

Changing market expectations together with new risks associated with climate change and resource depletion require access to specialised tools and expertise. Taking a science-based approach, the Kaikoura Community has benchmarked its environmental performance over time and has identified where substantial progress has been made and where further improvements are required.

www.kaikoura.co.nz

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