Our bit for the environment

We have a very special place here. The Abel Tasman National Park is a profoundly beautiful coastal paradise that has been enjoyed by many cultures over many centuries. It is an environment that we share with many life forms on both land and sea. As we protect and enhance the Abel Tasman's natural balance, we guard its soul. We hope you are inspired to take something special away from us to share in your environment back home. We have absolute reverence for this special place and it is our privilege to now share it with you.

 

Toitū te Marae a Tāne Through the sustainability
Toitū te marae a Tongaroa of the forest and ocean,
Toitū te Iwi humanity will endure.

Gaining a Department of Conservation (DOC) concession as well as a DOC Marine Mammal Watching Permit means we can take our guests right into the park to visit the NZ Fur Seal Colony on Tonga Island in the Marine Reserve.

Abel Tasman Soul Ltd is a trusted leader in providing quality kayaking experiences while demonstrating respect for the long-term health of our environment and the community impact. Our management team recognises that the company's commercial activities can impact the environment and the community. We therefore subscribe to the following environmental protection principles:

Minimizing direct impacts on the environment by monitoring our operations and continuing to be proactively involved in projects to protect and restore the biodiversity of the area.

  • Working with employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers, the local community and any other interested parties to identify their needs and support them in our commitments to the environment.
  • Creating an understanding of, and responsibility to, minimizing our daily impacts on the local environment.
  • Identifying both short and long term effects of operations, and in response, reduce any negative effects to as minimal as possible.

 In order to achieve the above objectives, we:

  • Work to gain employees' commitment to the positive aspects of sustainable tourism and their awareness of the importance and benefits of minimizing negative effects on the environment.
  • Promote our commitment through the use of local and sustainable product supply.
  • Continue to review current business practices, identify areas of improvement and create plans to meet our commitments towards a more sustainable future for tourism in the Abel Tasman.

  • Train our guides in the Leave No Trace philosophy and use this as the base for educating our clients about the environment.
  • We will monitor and measure our energy consumption and look for reduction in cost and usage through continuous improvement.
  • Champion our Soul Food trip as the only eco-friendly low impact tour available in the park.
  • Move from tractors transporting kayaks and kayakers to trolleys to reduce our reliance on motorised vehicles.
  • Work in partnership with Wakatu to restore the foreshore with a client led replanting program. We work with Wakatu under there guidance to protect the foreshore.
  • Provide a shed and electricity for the Birdsong Trust trapping program.
  • 90% of eco-friendly light bulbs in situ.
  • Working with DoC and operators to a code of conduct form Marine Mammal Permit.
  • We undertake to purchase energy efficient plant and equipment as we replace our equipment like our new van replacing our bus.
  • Starting own café with food prep using only fully biodegradable produces sourced from eco-packaging. This will provide more control around waste on all of trips as everything will be catered in-house.
  • Become more vocal advocates for Qualmark Enviro Gold using the Leave no Trace program as a facilitator to make our environmental message stronger to our clients. Through this program guides will be able to led clients by example and educate them in environmental messages.

  • Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust - Proud founding members and financial supporters - 10c per person each time you cross the park's foreshore is given to the trust. The aim of the trust: The forests and beaches of Abel Tasman are once again filled with the birdsong that awakens and delights visitors.
  • Sponsor in kind prizes and trips for local schools, charities, Nelson Tasman Tourism and Tourism New Zealand. Product is provided to the community each year to educate and showcase the Abel Tasman.
  • Working in partnership with Wakatu to restore the foreshore with a client led replanting program.
  • Abel Tasman Soul operates an intern program for NMIT students who have completed studies.
  • Jack Kelly is on the NMIT Tourism Advisory board.

Employees: training and regular employee communications, ensuring that employees are made aware of, and comply with, environmental laws, by-laws and company environmental policies and procedures, and that each employee actively fulfils their role in environmental responsibility. We work to gain employees' commitment to the positive aspects of sustainable tourism and their awareness of the importance and benefits of minimizing negative effects on the environment.  We continue to review with staff current business practices, identify areas of improvement and create plans to meet our commitments towards a more sustainable future for tourism in the Abel Tasman.

Leave No Trace refers to a set of outdoor ethics promoting conservation in the outdoors. It is built on seven principles: Plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of other visitors. Abel Tasman Kayaks has invested in guides undertaking a two day training course with all guides. Abel Tasman Kayakscovered the cost for guides. On completion of guide training the whole organisation has become A Leave no Trace organisation. Our intention for this program is to be able to led by example to show our clients respect for the environment and others and in turn that they take what they have learnt and that they take back to their local environment, to incrementally effect positive change on the planet.   

We also support NMIT in their training of Adventure Tourism students. We have an intern program for newly qualified guides to gain experience in industry. 

We minimize direct impacts on the environment by monitoring our operations and continuing to be proactively involved in projects to protect and restore the biodiversity of the area. Working with employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers, the local community and any other interested parties to identify their needs and support them in our commitment to the environment. Creating an understanding and responsibility to, minimize our daily impacts on the local environment. Identifying both short and long term effects of operations, and in response, reduce any negative effects to a minimum.

  • Qualmark Enviro Gold mark. This means we have met minimum requirements in this area, and gone a little extra and are actively participating in energy efficiency; conservation initiatives; waste management & community activities.
  • Monthly monitoring: fuel/electricity/land fill and recycling – we are always looking at ways of reducing our uses of resources.
  • Regular maintenance of all vehicles/tractors

  • Filling one bath load of water rather than running the hose to rinse kayaking gear.

  • Using refillable dispensers where appropriate eg soaps, sunscreen, use local caterers where possible – eg all lunches come from Motueka, coffee from Riwaka
  • Composting all left over food scraps
  • Recycling – plastics, tins, paper, glass

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