The Byron Bay Railroad Company’s decision to invest in solar power is one of many projects currently being undertaken by the Australian Tourism industry and reflects a greater trend towards sustainability and environmental awareness as compared to previous years. A contributing factor to this is that a large part of the tourism industry is based around our natural resources and as is most often the case, these ecosystems are largely fragile and highly susceptible to human-caused degradation either directly or in-directly.
The challenge then for the tourism industry is to encourage the development of tourism products and services while also at the same time protecting and conserving the environment on which those services or products are based.
One example of a successful approach to sustainable environmental practices can be found at North Byron Beach Resort who have been pioneering the move towards renewable energies for a considerable amount of time. Among a raft of other measures, the extensive use of solar panels used by the resort guarantees that some of the resort’s facilities can function off the grid – which is a huge win for both the local environment and further lowers the resort’s overall energy consumption.
Another example of the successful integration of ecologically sustainable practices and solar energy can be found at The Observatory hotel, overlooking the beaches of Port Macquarie. The buildings strata fund was used to build a solar system which, along with a range of other initiatives, was used to help promote their brand identity of sustainability and energy efficiency. Furthermore, the system itself is economically viable, providing a forecasted return on investment for apartment owners which is stronger than the rate the fund would otherwise be obtained.
An electric vehicle charging station was also installed in the hotel’s parking lot which is offset by the buildings solar system – again demonstrating the flexible nature of solar and how it can be used in almost any capacity to replace fossil-fuel generated electricity which not only benefits the environment, but saves money.
By and large, the average consumer is now more than ever increasingly environmentally conscious. An ever-growing portion of people are actively seeking to minimise the impact they have or look favourably upon efforts to do so which is why all businesses have an important social responsibility to go green which not only adds value to both themselves and their communities but also protects the environment for future generations.
- 24 Apr, 2017
- Kit Man Chan
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