In an important milestone, Rottnest Island has achieved Silver Certification making it the only EarthCheck Certified Sustainable Destination in Western Australia.
Rottnest Island Authority Executive Director Michelle Reynolds said she was proud of the outstanding work of her team in gaining the certification.
“Rottnest Island has put significant effort into supporting our tourism experiences with sustainable practices to ensure we conserve and protect the Island for future generations to enjoy,” she said.
“Our intention is to reach EarthCheck Gold Certification by 2020.”
“Rottnest Island is now a member of a unique network of EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations, such as Kaikoura (New Zealand), Huatulco (Mexico) and Snaefellsnes Peninsula (Iceland).”
Tourism is a $1.4 trillion industry which directly affects the destinations it operators within. The very environmental values and cultural assets that attract visitors to destinations need to be protected and responsibly managed. The tourism industry and its operators are key to creating this change.
By working with EarthCheck, Rottnest Island Authority has joined world-leading industry leaders who are taking meaningful steps towards resolving some of the very real issues that face the planet.
With climate change and a steady growth in visitation putting pressure on freshwater sources, Rottnest Island has been looking to ensure its water sustainability into the future. A major part of this has been the Island’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. This plant now produces 68 million litres of high quality reuse water per annum and greatly reduces the potential impact to the Island’s subsurface catchment. Water from the plant is solely used for the irrigation of the Island’s golf course and sports oval. 2018 has been the first year that zero water has been extracted from the Wadjemup Aquifer. This has been a huge boon for the Island and is allowing the aquifer to recover
As a self-powered Island, Rottnest Island is steadily moving to renewable energy sources. This journey went forward in leaps and bounds last year with the installation of a solar farm capable of producing 600KW of solar energy in conjunction with Hydro Tasmania and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The installation complemented upgrades to the existing Power House, Wind Turbine and Desalination Plant.
The good news is that with all of this in place, renewable energy now accounts for 45 per cent of the Island’s power requirements, with levels reaching as high as an incredible 98 per cent on some days.