Kaikoura District Council recognised for environmental practices

13 February 2014

The environmental practices of the Kaikoura community have been recognised by EarthCheck and the town has been awarded 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 10th 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's 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 programme clearly reinforces New Zealand's 100% pure positioning.

Mayor Winston Gray also congratulated the community for their involvement in sustainability programmes. "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.

About Kaikoura

Kaikoura is located on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island and has a population of 4,464. The Kaikoura Ranges form a towering backdrop to a marine playground. There are resident fur seals, Hector's and dusky dolphins and sperm whales, and migratory humpback, orca, southern right and blue whales.

About EC3 Global

EC3 Global is an international tourism and environmental management and advisory group that was developed by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC), the world's largest dedicated research centre specialising in sustainable tourism and research. EC3 Global work with clients to plan, manage and achieve business, development and marketing objectives; set and achieve sustainability goals with a triple bottom line focus and implement programs to achieve these objectives. Its global community of clients have access to experienced project managers and allied professionals, as well as global tourism best practice and research.

About EarthCheck

EarthCheck, managed and owned by EC3 Global, is an internationally recognised environmental management and certification program with members in over 70 countries. The program improves operational performance of member organisations and reduces costs. Recent studies show that 6 million people a week are impacted by EarthCheck's branded solutions. The company takes a scientific and systematic approach to risk mitigation and legislative requirements and is regarded as one of the world's best-practice environmental sustainability leaders.