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Environmental Policy and Achievements

Abel Tasman Eco Tours are advocates for environmental protection, we believe that we have a responsibility to care for and protect the environment in which we operate. We are fully committed to improving environmental performance across all of our business activities, and will encourage our business partners and members of the wider community to join us in this effort.

Environmental Protection Policy

Abel Tasman Eco Tours recognises our key impacts to be in the areas of use of fossil fuels and associated emissions, waste generation, water use, use of mechanical lubricants, disturbance to wildlife through vehicle operation.

We will strive to:

  • Adopt the highest environmental standards in all areas of operation, meeting and exceeding all relevant legislative requirements.
  • Assess our organisational activities and identify areas where we can minimise impacts.
  • Minimise waste through careful and efficient use of all materials and energy.
  • Purchase sustainable products wherever feasible [e.g. recycled, FSC or low environmental impact products and energy from renewable sources].
  • Publicise our environmental position.
    Train employees in good environmental practice and encourage employee involvement in environmental action.
  • Reduce risks from environmental, health or safety hazards for employees and others in the vicinity of our operations.
  • Adopt an environmentally sound transport strategy.
    Assist in developing solutions to environmental problems.
  • Continually assess the environmental impact of all our operations.
  • Adopt the seven principles of ‘leave no trace’ and run through these at the start of day briefing.
  • Abel Tasman Eco Tours have developed a series of action plans to supplement each of our environmental policy objectives. Abel Tasman Eco Tours will periodically review performance and publish these results on our website.

Environmental Protection Outcomes

To fulfill our environmental protection strategy, Abel Tasman Eco Tours has achieved:

  • Developing the Abel Tasman’s only ‘Eco’ focused interpretive tour.
  • Undertaking beach clean ups every year from 2013.
  • Providing a sustainable tourism policy for Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi.
  • Consulting with scientific experts to develop ecological and historical interpretation manuals for the Abel Tasman.
  • Member of the Experiencing Marine Reserves Programme, delivering marine conservation message to children and the wider public.
  • Accepting invitation to sit on the committee of the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust as a representative of the commercial operators in the park.
  • Formation of marine environmental group Tasman Bay Guardians.
  • Formation of a native tree restoration scheme – Abel Tasman Tree Collective, enabling local operators to collect funds from visitors in order to plant native trees in the Abel Tasman region. 100 volunteers appeared at our first planting day in Marahau, putting 2000 trees in the ground. We also funded the renovation of the DoC Community Nursery in our first year.
  • Tasman Bay Guardians becomes a Charitable Trust, acting as a provider organisation for Experiencing Marine Reservces and Whitebait Connection educational programmes, co-ordinating Abel Tasman Tree Collective and working through our strategy on conservation gains for the marine space in Tasman Bay.
  • Organised the Abel Tasman Beach Clean Up – 65 volunteers, 5 vessels, a litter audit, graffiti removal at Mosquito Bay and 200kgs of rubbish removed from Abel Tasman beaches.
  • We officially opened the newly renovated DoC Community Nursery.
  • Calculated our carbon emissions and working on quantifying their mitigation.

Abel Tasman Eco Tours is proud to be certified a Climate Positive Business with Ekos. We have measured and offset 134% of our carbon footprint for the 2021 financial year with certified carbon credits. These offsets grow and protect forests in New Zealand and help to deliver climate resilience, waterways protection, erosion control, biodiversity conservation and community economic development.

  • Assisting to organise clean up days.
  • Support and work with local conservation groups.
  • Offer free passage to any staff from other companies in the Park who wish to enhance their environmental interpretation skills.
  • Adopting the principles of the ‘leave no trace’ policy and communication these to clients at the start of the day.
  • Removing any foreign objects from the environment if safe to do so, we carry a landing net on board the vessel for this purpose. If unsafe or unfeasible, we report these objects to DoC or the TDC Harbourmaster.
  • Adopting a custodial role over our Marine Reserve and reporting any misconduct within to DoC. Developing our own marine mammal watching protocols and attending the DoC SMART Operator training course. We are the Park’s first certified SMART Operator.
  • Using the most economical marine outboard on the market and full servicing of all of our vehicles to ensure maximum efficiency and cleanliness, and researching the viability of alternative clean energies.
  • Specifying conservative use of vehicle operation in our Standard Operating procedures to minimise fuel usage and impact on the environment and wildlife.
  • Only using ‘Marine Safe’ lithium grease conservatively to avoid waste and overspill into the environment. Using EcoFix lubricant on all our gear.

Our Carbon Output Calculation

At Abel Tasman Eco tours, we take our environment footprint very seriously. We endeavour to be sustainable with all our activities. We have calculated the total and average Carbon Dioxide output per person per trip. The carbon output per person will depend on the number of passengers on that particular day, so we have taken an average fiture, and based our carbon offset on that, as we tend to have a few very quiet trips in the winter, and lots of busier trips in the summer.

Average Fuel consumption Per Passenger 5.9 litres and Total Boat Trip 38.0 litres

2.4 Kilos CO2 per litre of petrol per passenger and Total Boat Trip

Average Kilos CO2 Output - 14.2 per Passenger and 90.9 per Total Boat Trip

How many Trees do I need to plant per 1kg of CO2 emitted?

This is a tough question! CO2 sequestion is measured per hectare as Tonnes per CO2 Equivalent (tCO2e), and changes depending on the tree species, the level of maintenance, and the time period. With this in mind, taking an average of 900 treees per hectare over a period of 6 years the estimated total Carbon Dioxide sequested is 69.9 kgs per tree. This number will increase incrementally over the trees life which could be hundreds of years.

The estimated price of a native tree, raised, planted and maintained for 6 years is $4.00

$1 from you ticket goes directly to planting a native tree.

Abel Tasman Eco Tours supports the Abel Tasman Tree Collective where the trees are planted not just for sequestion, but for habitat restoration, water filtration, native fish spawning habitat, education and action project for school kids.

Every $1 received for any of our chosen causes ticks a multitude of areas to help our environment, ecology & community

The seven principles of ‘leave no trace’

Plan Ahead and Prepare

By having an active safety & environmental policy, we can safely guide clients through a pristine environment, taking all care to minimise disturbance to wildlife and habitat through excellent communication and etiquette.

Travel on Durable Ground

Only use formed walking tracks and access ways, taking care to avoid damage to tree roots and vulnerable soft vegetation.

Dispose of Waste Properly

All rubbish comes out of the Park with us and no rubbish to be thrown overboard in any circumstance.

Leave What You Find

Beautiful things such as shells, feathers, seaweeds and artifacts are cool to find, and we must leave them for the discovery and learning of others. Small children may take one shell each for their learning, but they must find out the name of that shell.

Minimise the Effect of Fire

We operate a no smoking policy on all our trips, this is for the comfort of other clients and to minimise the risk of fire in the bush.

Respect Wildlife and Farm Animals

We operate under a strict code of conduct, not only around marine mammals but with respect for all wildlife. Maintain a respectful distance (unless initiated by the animal), no loud noises, no feeding, no touching (apart from the guide in rock pools*).

*Rock pool animals are tolerant to disturbance due to the nature of their habitat.

Be Considerate of Others

Always consider other users needs both directly, such as, staying calm and silent, and also by applying the previous six principles and leading by example.

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