In recognition of numerous environmental improvements, Oamaru’s Pen-y-bryn Lodge received an Enviro ‘Silver’ Award from Qualmark.
James Glucksman and James Boussy, who took over Oamaru’s sole Qualmark five-star rated accommodation in August 2010, are dedicated to reducing their property’s impact on the pristine environment of North Otago.
Since their arrival, the pair has undertaken many environmental measures including installing insulation throughout the property, significantly reducing their heating costs while also improving guests’ comfort, and instigating a composting programme that turns the lodge’s kitchen waste into fertiliser which is used in place of chemicals on the extensive ornamental and kitchen gardens that surround the property.
James Glucksman said it had been a goal to eventually qualify for a Qualmark Enviro award.
“When we bought Pen-y-bryn we hoped to do so, but we never thought we would qualify so quickly, or that we would start off with a silver award. It is something that we take very seriously, and we’re pleased that Qualmark have recognised all that we’ve done to make this heritage property not just a wonderful place for guests to enjoy, but also one that they can feel good about visiting.”
James Boussy, who is responsible for maintaining the house and its gardens, has been very keen to avoid the use of chemicals.
“As a gardener, I prefer to use natural fertilisers whenever possible. And the guests appreciate that most of the food we serve them is grown on the property by the people who are hosting them,” he said.
James and James hope to continue to hone Pen-y-bryn’s environmental credentials, with plans to add solar heating panels at some stage and collect rain water for garden use.
“While we don’t expect to qualify for a Gold award, since there is only so much we can do while maintaining the historical integrity of the house,” James Glucksman said, “we want to do whatever we can to reduce our impact on the environment, and improve our guests’ experience.”
In addition to being awarded the Enviro Silver award, Pen-y-bryn was also re-awarded five stars, recognising the lodge as “exceptional and among the best available in New Zealand”.