At Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, we recognise the activities of resort operations can have the potential for negative impacts on the environment, and we are deeply committed to achieving best practice environmental and social sustainability.
A long-term goal of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is to minimise the waste sent to landfills and maximise recycling efforts. All waste is sorted into recyclable, wet and non-recyclable and all plastic items are currently being replaced with environmentally sustainable items. The resort recently opted to take part in a bin-trim program which will see food waste converted into water and also received approval from NSW Environment Protection Authority to turn green waste into water for irrigation.
In 2018, the resort installed three outdoor filtered water stations to encourage guests to use the multi-use bottles that are provided on arrival to further reduce use of glass and plastic bottles. Guests are encouraged to take these bottles home to continue this practice.
Green building principles were embedded in the design and construction of the resort and Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley constantly explores new ways to decrease its reliance on coal-fired electricity. This includes the use of energy-saving technology such as fluorescent and LED light globes, sensors and timers, as well as solar panels for hot water supplies and exterior lighting.
The resort’s outdoor swimming pool is equipped with environment-friendly heat exchange technology that keeps it warm. In recent years, initiatives such as double glazing the windows in the Main Homestead have improved heating and cooling efficiency of the interiors and reduced energy usage. Guests are encouraged to participate in the wise use of energy during their stay.
Since opening, the resort has achieved a 48% reduction in electricity consumption.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley has proudly maintained its carbon-neutral certification for ten consecutive years since opening, from the internationally-accredited Greenhouse Gas Certification Scheme, carboNZero.
This has been achieved through a combination of initiatives, including energy management; large-scale rehabilitation of forestry; protection of existing vegetation; waste management and operational practices such as ongoing commitment to the removal of single use plastic throughout the resort.
All guest villas and the resort’s Main Homestead have individual rainwater tanks. Rainwater is collected and filtered onsite and accounts for 70% of the resorts drinking water. The remaining 30% comes from pristine Carne Creek, that runs through the reserve. The resort is licensed by Water NSW to collect and carbon/UV filter water from the creek to be used for consumption.
The resort has an onsite water treatment plant enabling extensive recycling including grey and black water treated to ‘Class A’ standard for irrigation of gardens and paddocks, plus cleaning and industrial use. 100% of used water is recycled.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley has recently joined Streamwatch, a citizen-science monitoring program, established by Sydney Water, to monitor the health of Carne Creek and Wolgan River waterways.
As a former grazing property, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley was subject to heavy grazing of domestic livestock, significant clearing of local vegetation, and erosion damage to the two waterways which run through the resort. The resort is committed to reforestation and flora rehabilitation which is executed via extensive tree planting and supporting the processes of natural regeneration including the strategic control and eradication of invasive and noxious plants.
Over 200,000 trees have been planted across the property, using seeds from native species collected onsite and grown at a local nursery, with strong focus on the streamside revegetation of Carne Creek, Wolgan Dam and most recently, the Wolgan River.
Environmental education is the key theme underpinning all guest nature experiences and tours. The resort’s expert Field Guides have qualifications in biology, zoology, environmental management, ecology, biodiversity and conservation and are imparting this knowledge throughout all guest interaction and activities. Guests can also participate in daily conservation work which includes seed collection, tree planting, pest control, WOMSAT and wildlife monitoring.
Environmental education also extends to young guests through the resort’s ‘Wolgan Rangers’ offering. An educational program offering nature experiences specifically designed for young children with activities including following animal tracks, building bush shelters, exploring for ancient plant fossils, seed collection and wombat surveys.
A debilitating condition affecting Australia’s wombat population is Sarcoptic Mange, spread to wombat populations via the introduced feral predators. In conjunction with Emirates, the resort funds research into this disease through a partnership with the academic community, particularly the University of Western Sydney. The survival and protection of Australia’s iconic wombat population has been significantly enhanced by the introduction of new technology - the WomSAT app and website.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley offers guests the opportunity to choose a company called Evoke for their transfers to and from the resort. Evoke use Tesla cars and are audited annually as 100% carbon neutral. The resort also has two hybrid vehicle charging stations and two Tesla charging stations available for guests to recharge hybrid and full electric vehicles whilst staying at the resort.
The resort maintains a historic colonial homestead relic, dating back to 1832. The restoration work was undertaken in accordance with UNESCO Burra Charter guidelines and received an ‘Award of Recognition’ from Heritage Australia. The homestead is of historical significance and serves as a reference of Australia’s early pastoral industry. Tours of this heritage precinct are facilitated daily, allowing guests to learn about this history.
At Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, guests eat and drink locally and sustainably. The resort works closely with local artisan producers, sourcing seasonal and, where possible, organic produce, and showcasing local food heroes from cheese-makers to vintners, orchardists to trout fishermen. Menus are designed to educate guests on the provenance of the food they are consuming, and guests are also invited to discover the resort’s on-site garden.