Sustainability

We’re committed to our people, our community and our home.

Our family have been living and working on the land in the Mackenzie region for over 80 years, so we have a longstanding appreciation for the land and what it provides for us, and the responsibility we have to look after it. 

We understand our role as stewards of the environment and the wildlife within it and have committed to be constantly working on the farm’s sustainability and becoming a carbon positive farm. We recognise that whilst we have had success, there is always room for improvement on the journey to sustainability. 

Presently, we are extending the farm to accommodate tourism, aiming to ensure the long-term sustainability of the land and to encourage people to connect with nature and appreciate the natural scenery of high country landscape. Silver River Stargazing and Lake Tekapo Farm Tours have attained Qualmark “Silver” status in 2023 and are members of Tourism Industry Aotearoa, demonstrating our commitment to sustainable tourism practices.

We are also very proud to be the Mackenzie Region’s first accredited tourism operator to pay a “Living Wage”. This is one of many steps we have taken to enable our team to live with dignity and be able to participate as active citizens in society.

Our Planet, Our People, Our FARM

Our commitment to sustainable farming is apparent in the way we operate our family farm. 

Our irrigation system is customized to fulfill plant needs while reducing the potential for leaching and runoff, thereby emphasizing efficient water utilization.

Moreover, our commitment to biodiversity is demonstrated through the promotion of indigenous plant growth, which helps nurture thriving ecosystems. By prioritizing the cultivation of native vegetation, we contribute to preserving local flora and fauna while fostering sustainable agricultural landscapes for future generations.

With our dedication to sustainable farming practices, our family farm has been partnering with charitable company Te Manahuna Aoraki Project for efficient pest and weed control. We also obtained the achievement of highest grade “A” in our 2023 farm sustainability audit report.

All our Merino sheeps have access to effective shade and shelter to reduce stress and injury. The wool is certified under Responsible Wool Standard, which means we must meet the animal welfare, land management and social requirements for the farm.

Since 2021 , our wool is being sold to a Norwegian sustainable clothing company, Devold. The Devold’s wool is sourced only from sheep that have the best and most tranquil quality of life, which comes from the farmers who are farming sheep sustainably.

Plantation forestry is important in ensuring that Balmoral Station is a diverse and economically viable business and has been an important management component for many years. We are proud to say that our businesses & farm have achieved carbon positive over the years.

In fact, Balmoral Station is a leader in environmentally sustainable high country forestry, as Balmoral Station has been actively establishing plantation forests to offset its carbon emissions for a number of years and currently sequesters around 10,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year and emits around 2,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year (excluding biogenic methane). 

As well as contributing to Balmoral Station being carbon-neutral, forestry can also provide an additional income stream through “carbon farming”. The forestry currently accumulates approx. 10,000 carbon units (credits) annually. 

We strive to integrating sustainability principles into tourism activities and help preserve the country’s natural and cultural heritage while contributing to the well-being of local communities and promoting long-term economic viability.

This includes sustainable waste management, energy-efficient operations, and responsible land use planning.

We offer eco-friendly activities such as hiking, biking, bird watching, and nature tours that promote appreciation for the environment without causing harm to delicate ecosystems. 

During our tourism activities, we would also share educational experiences that raise awareness about environmental issues and promote sustainable living practices can help foster a culture of sustainability among tourists.

The ultimate objective for our business is to maintain a carbon-positive status regarding CO2 emissions while actively implementing environmental-friendly programs that carbon-offsets and preserving native species beyond governmental benchmarks.

Furthermore, we aim to transition towards increased reliance on renewable energy sources across all sectors of our businesses, with a particular emphasis on solar energy, given Lake Tekapo’s recognition as the place with the highest solar irradiance in New Zealand for 2023.

In addition, we remain committed to advocating for sustainable farming practices, carbon offsetting, the adoption of renewable energy, and conservation efforts focused on preserving native species. We invite our visitors to comprehend the importance of safeguarding our high-country landscape and encourage them to join us in these endeavors.

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