After a few years of crossing our fingers and trying to plan around unexpected lockdowns and covid restrictions, 2022 almost felt like a new normal. We hosted 7758 guests from 36 different countries and it was so great to welcome our international manuhiri back into Rotorua! We had bustling school holidays, sunny long weekends and the sound of international accents floating around town started to become more like normal than novelty again.
Sustainability in 2022
Coming into another year always gives us a great reason to take a moment, look back on the year gone and reflect on what we achieved at Aura in our sustainability space. We love sharing these achievements with our guests, the wider community and accommodation industry as we believe that many of our initiatives are simple and small changes which we think can be easily implemented across any business.
Last year started off great with a new partnership with our friends at Volcanic Creamery , a local dairy farm based here in Rotorua. We’ve been following these guys’ progress since we heard the first whisper of a small sustainably driven farm being built here a few years ago. They produce full cream, A2 milk in returnable glass bottles and are owned by an aura-some local family. We’ve been working with them since February 2022 and have had so many comments from our guests on how delicious and creamy the milk is. A win for all!
Alongside the three bins we provide in guest rooms to help streamline room waste waste into recyclables, compostables and landfill, our housekeeping team also audit all guest waste pulled from the rooms to ensure we are firstly, diverting as much as we can from the landfill but also secondly, ensuring we aren’t contaminating any of our waste streams. To make this easier we had a new custom rubbish trolley built for us last year by Rich from Bunker Builders which helps with our auditing process.
Using these processes we managed to divert 1882 kg of ‘waste’ from the landfill in 2022, with 1259 kg being recycled, 400 kg of food being composted on-site and 223 kg of food was picked up by our friend Mark for his pig farm. Now we think that’s pretty cool, and it’s really aura-some to see our small steps every day make these big changes over the entire year.
Our popular Send-Your-Service system thrived again in 2022, with guests opting to forfeit their daily room service and have us donate $5 on their behalf. This allowed us to donate $5465.00 in 2022 to our community partners, Big Brothers Big Sisters Rotorua and the Rotorua Trails Trust. We also had the lovely Melissa and Nicki from Big Brothers Big Sisters Rotorua come and have a kōrero with our team about how our contributions are assisting them with their mahi in the community.
From the installation of our 60 solar panels in August 2020, we were on average able to produce 29% of our power usage through solar in 2022. Our solar power system is an ongoing effort of trying to understand our current power usage and then making smart decisions on how we operate to try to maximize our solar production throughout the day. In 2023 we have plans to install an EV charger which will hopefully run mainly off our solar production and provide an added facility for our guests to use.