Franz Josef Wilderness Tour’s key sustainability initatives include economic, visitor, community and environmental factors as we believe this makes up a hollistic approach to sustainability. Sustainability is encorporated into our culture and ethos and this follows through into each of our tours.
Our Sustainability Initiatives:
1. Carbon Zero
We’ve identified and offset our largest contributors to our carbon footprint with Ekos New Zealand. We are continually working through ways to further reduce or eliminate our carbon output. The main areas of output we’ve identified are: Petrol, Electricity and Rubbish. All of these are a key focus for our future elimination approach.
2. Ecological Footprint
We contribute to the ecological sustainability of our local environment. An example of this is our Rainforest trail through the kiwi sanctuary. It was developed with minimum impact, we also cleared gorse and removed pests from the local area. Our team of passionate guides spend time looking after the surrounding rainforest shorelines in which we operate when they’re not busy guiding tours.
3. Environment Education
We actively engage with all visitors and the community. The importance of restoring, enhancing and protecting our natural environment is important to us. We utilise the ‘take only photos – leave only footprints’ approach when operating our tours. We teach about local conservation, such as Operation Nest Egg on our tours.
We are fortunate to have incredible biodiversity within the Westland Tai Poutini National Park. We have partnered with our local Department of Conservation in assisting with a variety of projects to identify and monitor critical species such as Rowi Kiwi and Long Tail bats within our local area. In 2021 our team discovered a population of Long Tail bat populations around local waterways.
5. Predator Free Initiative
We have partnered with Zero Invasive Predators and the Predator Free South Westland initiative by assisting with transport to areas along the Lake Mapourika and Kiwi Sanctuary shoreline. We also assist with responses they have had through their network of AI Camera and monitoring systems in the surrounding rainforest.
6. Community Engagement
Community engagement is really important to Franz Josef Wilderness Tours. We actively engage in a variety of groups from our local Civil defence to the playgroup, school and scouts groups. We are involved as volunteers within Glacier Country Tourism, engaging with ways to help the region become more sustainable.
Meet Dale, the co-owner of Franz Josef Wilderness Tours. Discussing the conservation projects him and his passionate team of guides have been working on over the last few years. Our team is consistently finding new ways to innovate and improve the way we work within our natural environment.