‘Sustainability Does Not Mean Sacrificing Luxury’
Balgownie Estate Environmental Initiative… ‘Sustainability Does Not Mean Sacrificing Luxury’. From inception, Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa has not only aspired to a high level of environmental responsibility-it has proactively sought innovative ways to achieve this goal. The mantra of ‘Sustainability Does Not Mean Scarifying Luxury’ has been Balgownie’s maxim in seeking technology to support the goal of providing low environmental impact accommodation combined with superior service and facilities.
Water Conservation and Re-use
Balgownie Estate utilise rainwater collected through water tanks with a combined valve in excess of 500,000 litres capacity. This system is then supported by a main connection that will only assist if levels fall below 30% in the Resort. The reliance on external water supply is dramatically reduced through the use of rainwater tanks and the installation of AAA rated toilet suites, tap ware and the use of low flow water devices. This enables the estate to be almost totally self-sufficient for water in a normal rainfall year.
Installation of power saving devices to all rooms, which automatically de-activate all air-conditioning and lighting when rooms are unattended, saves considerable power.
Effluent Treatment Systems
State of the art AAA rated treatment systems capture and treat all effluent on site, reusing this water on all irrigation to the vines and landscaping, saving seven million litres of water per year.
Electric efficient heat pumps are used together with solar and gas heating systems
Natural flow-through ventilation to all rooms reduces the need for air-conditioning.
Thermal massing in walls and slabs, appropriate insulation and shading to the buildings optimises temperature control. The environmental design also incorporates the installation of skylights and glazing to maximise natural light.
In addition to the vineyard planting, a number of varieties of Australian bush food have been established – one of the first commercially viable plantings in the Yarra Valley and in the state. The harvest from these plantings enhances the fresh menu in Rae’s Restaurant. A substantial investment has also been made in low water use native plants in the landscape design throughout the resort.
Recycle, Reduce and Reuse
Waste Water Treatment
100% of all water used through the sewerage drainage system, is caught and taken through the sewerage pipe system to the AAA rated treatment system. This initiative conserves seven million litres of water per year.
100% of the paper and glass used at the resort is recycled. On average one tonne per month, this equates to 12 tonnes per year.
The cooking oil used in Balgownie’s kitchens are collected and sent out for cleaning and reprocessing for secondary uses such as Diesel fuel.
Green waste from the kitchen is mulched and used on the vegetable garden, thus reduction in the amount of waste produced going to landfill of over 100kg per week or 5,200kg per year.
Food Production and Consumption
All herbs along with a large amount of vegetables for consumption in the restaurant are cultivated and grown on the property through Balgownie’s ‘veggie garden’.
Recycled Paper and Cardboard
The use of recycled paper and card for majority of printed material (menu’s, business cards, compendiums, welcome cards, menu holders etc.).
Carbon Neutral Meetings
The active participation in Accor’s Carbon Neutral Meetings program.
The reduction of printed material and use of technology via email, website and in house TV system, to provide promotional material and communication. Making the environment part of every email, by asking recipients not to print unless necessary. The connection of all computers to the main digital printer copier that uses less toner, prints double sides and reduces the amount of printers running.
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa has a commitment from the Directors and Senior Management, down through the team and shared with all of our guests to be recognised as a ‘Sustainable Hotel Resort’ that strives to be carbon neutral. This commitment and passion is infused to the entire team from day one, is regularly reinforced and is led by example from the management teams. Balgownie Estate’s environmental commitment has been rewarded in both 2008 and 2011, with winning the Australian Hotels Association-National Awards for Excellence for Environmental Best Practice Hotel of Year Award.