Caring Luxury

As part of the local and international community The George understands that its actions impact those around us as well as the larger environment. We are proud to hold an envirogold rating from Qualmark for our commitment to Caring Luxury, which involves initiatives to reduce our impact on the natural environment, helping charitable organisations where possible, and support local artists and suppliers.

Some of our actions developed naturally, for example, The George has been involved in helping various charitable organisations for numerous years. Other actions are driven by a desire to protect what we hold dear. For example, our ongoing commitment to reducing our impact on the natural environment has triggered management and employees to develop many initiatives to ensure we do our part in helping New Zealand remain the clean and green country we are proud of.

Furthermore, as evident by our New Zealand Art collection The George has for many years been a keen supporter of local artists. What is perhaps less known is that we also strive to source local products and utilise the skills of local craftspeople for our furniture and refurbishments.

Many of our Caring Luxury initiatives and actions are listed below, however we are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our footprint and to help the wider community.

Caring Luxury Initiatives

Carbon Footprint

We follow these actions to reduce our carbon footprint:
Where possible New Zealand goods are procured

  • We recommend Corporate Cabs who offset carbon emissions with carbon credits
  • We shut down 1 of 2 diesel boilers significantly reducing the diesel consumed
  • Our people mover vehicle is a hybrid and also offers wheelchair access
  • We monitor carbon emissions against occupancy and have improved by 5%
  • Our executive vehicle is a hybrid
  • During our refurbishment we were careful to procure environmentally certified products
  • Retiring diesel boiler in favour of water heat pumps

Waste Reduction & Recycling

The reduction in landfill has been achieved by consciously considering ways to limit our waste including:

  • We recycle paper, cardboard, glass, cans, plastic, unusable polystyrene & garden waste
  • Cooking oil and fat is collected and converted to bio-fuel
  • Recycling bins are offered in guest rooms for waste separation
  • We replaced guest soap with liquid soap to reduce soap waste
  • We use sustainable paper for our printed collateral
  • Where possible we do not print out emails and we encourage others not to print out our emails
  • We reuse printed paper for staff note paper
  • We use refillable recyclable containers for guest toiletries to eliminate unnecessary packaging
  • The complimentary daily newspaper delivered on request not automatically
  • We send our food scraps to be composted rather than added to landfill
  • Staff dry cleaning is delivered without plastic wrapping
  • We have greatly reduced our paper marketing materials and our information PDF is now electronic rather than printed
  • Our guest welcome messages are on the TV screen not printed
  • Our guest welcome messages are on the TV screen not printed
  • We monitor landfill waste and have reduced it by 20%
  • We try to reduce waste by not purchasing products with excessive packaging
  • We have joined the Target Sustainability Programme run by The Christchurch City Council
  • We have changed the guest laundry bags to totally degradable bags so they breakdown
  • We recently installed a new operating system and participated in paperless training
  • A new Inncom system has eliminated the need for door hangers – saving production energy, materials, transportation and waste
  • We reuse polystyrene boxes or send back to suppliers for reuse
  • Through various initiatives we have reduced our waste skips to landfill by 50%
  • We have discontinued our paper brochure

Energy Management

The George is aware of its energy use and has initiated the following steps:

  • The use of energy saver bulbs where possible
  • Heat pumps were installed in guest rooms as they are more efficient than other air conditioning systems
  • The air-conditioning systems in non-public areas are on timers and do not operate when unoccupied
  • LED television screens were selected for guests rooms because they are more energy efficient than other screens
  • The windows are double glazed to increase energy efficiency
  • Electricity is supplied from a carbon-neutral renewable electricity supplier
  • If quiet we shut down unused rooms to save energy
  • Our fountain is on a timer so it switches off at night
  • Bathroom extractors are on timers so they switch off at night
  • Lights are dimmed or turned off overnight
  • Lights are dimmed in restaurants and public areas in the evening
  • For the past 3 years we have taken part in Earth Hour
  • We offer incentives to employees that come up with ways to save energy
  • Lamps have been converted to energy saving type fittings where possible
  • Out-dated air-conditioning has been replaced with more efficient heat-pumps
  • Public bathrooms have sensor lighting
  • We have joined The Tourism Energy Efficiency Program
  • We offer guests the use of complimentary bicycles for local touring and walking maps of attractions in our area
  • The old water cooler air-conditioning system has been removed in favour of the more efficient heat pump option
  • We have replaced 3 old air conditioning units in the lobby with 3 brand new units that are more efficient
  • The new Brantas INNCOM manages the air-conditioning, under floor heating and other devices centrally
  • Motion sensor lighting installed in link corridor, conference foyer and public bathrooms
  • Ongoing rollout of LED light bulbs

Water Conservation

  • We have installed dual flush toilets in the guest rooms
  • Water-saving shower heads are installed in all guest rooms
  • Guest linen is replaced on guest demand, rather than automatically, cutting down on water waste and detergents in our waterways
  • We have trained our team to only run dishwashers when they are full thereby saving water, energy and detergents
  • We use water efficient dishwashers that retain washing water
  • We regulate garden watering by using sensible planting
  • We have substantially reduced the use of the automatic irrigation for the garden favouring manually controlled water soaker hoses
  • The automatic irrigation system is turned off for the winter months
  • The roof top water cooler was decommissioned eliminating water used for air conditioning
  • Motion sensor taps in the public bathrooms

Pollution Initiatives

  • Our windows are double glazed to minimise noise pollution
  • We hardwired the smoke detectors so they no longer require batteries
  • Fixed air conditioning controllers have been installed so we no longer need to replace the 110 batteries, cutting down on battery waste
  • The removal of the water cooler air-conditioning system has reduced the use of chemicals and eliminated the risk of legionnaire’s disease
  • Our vehicles are regularly serviced to maintain efficient running
  • We have purchased 2 hybrid vehicles to reduce fleet carbon emissions
  • Vegetable based inks are used for in house printed material
  • Our laundry bags are made of degradable plastic
  • We limit the finish time of functions to reduce noise pollution to our neighbours
  • Our guest amenities possess the following attributes:
    • GE Free
    • 100% biodegradable
    • 100% vegetable based
    • Not tested on animals
    • Reusable and recyclable bottles
    • Water based inks used on labels

Community

The George supports numerous local, national and international charities mostly by the donation of goods and services. Below is a list of recent charitable events and organisations The George has contributed to:

  • Win a Wish Competition – The Breeze Radio
  • Autism Australia Charity Event
  • Participate in Dine Aid
  • Donated a dinner to Ronald McDonald Supper Club
  • Mark Leslie Benefit Dinner
  • Canterbury Down Syndrome Association
  • Stop Cancer 2006 Live Auction
  • Koru Care Fundraising
  • In Support of South Island Bone Marrow Cancer Trust – Rotary Club of Lincoln
  • Friends of Christchurch Cathedral
  • Bone Marrow Cancer Trust
  • In Support of Cure Kids – KPMG
  • In Support of The Family Help Trust – Harcourts Real Estate
  • Koru Care Charity Auction
  • In Support of Child Cancer Australia – Red Kite Charity
  • In Support of Hospice NZ – ORBIT / House of Travel
  • The Canterbury Down Syndrome Association
  • In Support of Breast and Prostate Cancer – Rockonz
  • Shocking Pink Charitable Trust – The Mad Hatters Ball
  • Autism Australia Charity Event
  • Sponsor for RISE 2014
  • Sponsor for New Zealand Opera
  • Sponsor for The World Buskers Festival
  • Sponsor for The Christchurch Arts Festival
  • Sponsor for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
  • Sponsor for Lantern Festival
  • Fundraising for St John Ambulance
  • Bruce Garrett is the Region Chair of the Hotel Council
  • Hold workshops for the CDHB
  • The George has initiated an employee volunteer scheme so all non-casual employees spend 2 paid working days a year helping nominated charities and organisations by working on their choice of various projects
  • We train our team to commit to our environmental practices as well as education on how to be more energy conscious in their own homes
  • Where possible, The George sources local products and enlists the skills of local craftspeople for its furniture and refurbishments, for example:
    • Warren & Mahoney Architects
    • Dalman Architects
    • David Shaw Furniture
    • Dilana Rugs (designed by J.S.Parker using local materials)
  • The hotel is proud to feature the work of the following New Zealand artists
    • Ralph Hotere
    • Bill Hammond
    • John Pule
    • Stephen Gleeson
    • Stephen Goodenough

Purchasing & Conservation Initiatives

  • We have made a commitment where possible to purchase goods & services locally which reduces carbon emissions and helps the local economy
  • We use a local printer who only uses sustainable paper and vegetable ink for our marketing materials
  • We buy in bulk to reduce packaging
  • Our key cards are made of recyclable plastic
  • The majority of the wine we purchase is either local or from New Zealand
  • 50% of the projects available for the employee volunteer scheme involve planting trees and shrubs in the Canterbury area

For feedback or suggestions on our Caring Luxury initiative contact joanne@thegeorge.com