Hobbiton Movie Set have made a commitment to sustainable development and practices across all areas of the business. In 2018, we signed the Tourism Industry Association's Sustainable Tourism Commitment, which aims to see every New Zealand tourism business committed to sustainability by 2025. To deliver on this, we must achieve ambitious economic goals while contributing to restoring, protecting and enhancing our natural environment, and continuing to be a high quality destination of choice for domestic and international travellers. Hobbiton Movie Set are committed to these goals and have developed a range of sustainable initiatives across the business, with many more to come.
As part of Hobbiton’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the ‘Going Green’ initiative was developed to minimise our impact on the environment. As part of this initiative, Hobbiton continues to work towards protecting and preserving the environment that makes us unique and attracts over half a million visitors to the area each year.
In order to restore native vegetation and increase biodiversity, hundreds of native seedlings are planted around the Movie Set and surrounding farmland each year. Current revegetation efforts will see over 700 native plants (including kahikatea, cabbage trees, carex and juncus) being planted in swamp areas. Continuing to plant native species will not only provide habitat for native fauna but will also aid in improving water quality in the lake and surrounding waterways. At Hobbiton’s request the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) provided a water quality assessment of the lake in 2018 and following this report a series of strategies have been introduced to improve and maintain lake health. Ongoing revegetation efforts will continue to focus on aiding sediment management in waterways while simultaneously attracting native fauna.
Our gardening teams are also working hard to maintain biodiversity on the Movie Set through attracting more native birds, bees and butterflies to our gardens. Restoring native birds to the Movie Set has been approached by enhancing and developing attractive habitats, including providing targeted feeders.
Pest control programs are also being implemented to protect our native species and continue to protect the environment.
A large part of both minimising and responsibly disposing our waste has come from selecting compostable and biodegradable alternatives for food packaging used in the Shire’s Rest Café. All single use plastic bags have also been removed from our retail store.
With 80,000 takeaway coffee cups sold from The Shires Rest Café each year, it was important to use biodegradable alternatives, making a significant difference to the amount of waste being sent to landfill. All non-compostable food packaging has been replaced by carefully-sourced plant-based alternatives from reputable local suppliers Ecoware. These alternatives are made of materials such as bamboo fibre, paper, and Bioplastic made from Polylactic Acid (PLA), a material derived from sustainable plant resources with a carbon footprint of up to 75% less than traditional packaging materials.
Waste collected in the rubbish bins at The Shire’s Rest and The Green Dragon Inn is processed on site at our waste processing facility. Waste is hand-sorted into compostable waste, recycling and general refuse. Our sorting facility has streamlined our waste management process and has contributed to a reduction in our contribution to landfill. The compost system on site has undergone significant development to continue to dispose of products used by our guests and staff. Over the last 12 months the compost system has successfully decomposed all compostable products and green waste produced on site, producing soil that will keep our gardens on the Movie Set thriving.
Hobbiton is currently working to develop a strict purchasing policy to avoid consumables that are not biodegradable, compostable or recyclable. This policy will also aim to promote locally sourced goods to minimise excess packaging and transport.
Hobbiton Movie Set Chief Executive, Russell Alexander says “Our Going Green initiative is an integral part of our corporate responsibility and we believe it is extremely important to make the effort to minimize our impact on New Zealand’s precious environment. Our aim is to become as self-sufficient and sustainable as reasonably practicable. Our plan is to utilize our surrounding area and farming roots with a number of further steps to be taken over the next few years.
We look forward to becoming even more environmentally friendly in the future and taking our visitors on this journey with us.”