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6 Sustainable ways Cardrona is operating this season

Discover the six ways we’re normalising sustainability initiatives at Cardrona. From zero landfill bins to banning plastic bottles, learn more here.

At Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone, sustainability and conservation aren’t buzzwords - they’re core values woven into the fabric of our operations. We have long-lasting projects and initiatives that we build on year after year, normalising our efforts in sustainable operations. Learn about the 6 ways we’re putting conservation first and building greener slopes for the future. 

1. Banning plastic bottles

Our waste reduction journey started in 2013 when we removed the plastic wrap on pies. Now eleven years on, we’re at a point where we can say there are absolutely no single-use PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles sold at the resort, a decision that has eliminated on average 43,000 bottles a season since 2019.

2. No landfill bins

Single-use cups have been eliminated for six years, saving an estimated 400,000 cups and lids from landfill. So, if you want a takeaway coffee or hot chocolate, you’ll need to pack your own reusable mugs and water bottles to help contribute to our plastic-free initiatives.

You’ll also find that all food and beverages sold on-mountain are served in reusable crockery with real cutlery, or in packaging that can be recycled. We’ve even asked our suppliers to change their packaging to be compostable so we can send it, along with all food scraps, to our on-site compost facility. We encourage guests to familiarise themselves with our policies before visiting, and if they want to bring their snacks or food that come in landfill-bound packaging, pack in and pack out, and take their landfill waste with them, or better yet, bring their food in reusable containers.

Learn more about our waste reduction timeline here.

3. sourcing locally

If we can’t find a product made or available to purchase in New Zealand, we decide to find an alternative, reducing our supply chain footprint. That means all our beer, wine and spirits are all New Zealand based, making your beverages not just local, but also delicious! 

4. We recycle and save pre-loved uniforms from landfill 

Cardrona and Treble Cone send their retired uniforms to the teams at Wastebusters, where logos, branding and patches are cut and stitched over, where they are made available for sale again. Read more about the ‘Re-action’ programme here 

5. There are free shuttles 

We want to help our guests reduce emissions, save on fuel, and skip parking times, so we have free shuttles from the bottom of the mountain roads. Guests can park at the base of the hill and catch a shuttle to reduce congestion. Car-pooling is also encouraged to the point that there are designated hitchhiking spots at the bottom and top of the mountain.  

6. The Cardrona Foundation

We take our responsibility as kaitiaki (a Māori term for guardians) of the maunga seriously, and our Cardrona Foundation helps us remain accountable for how we contribute to our environment and community. Our foundation pillars are: 

Plant a Seed, helping rejuvenate the biodiversity and land of the maunga by planting thousands of native plants and trees across both Cardrona and Treble Cone. To date, over 6300 natives have been planted across both mountains, using our home-made compost, and we even bring the local kids on board to help and learn about horticulture and kaitiakitanga. 

Ride Tamariki is our annual programme that offers outdoor education opportunities to children in New Zealand regardless of circumstance. Offering day and overnight programmes, over 1200 students took part in the Ride Tamariki Programme in Winter ’24 across both mountains.  

Kārearea Project Is Cardrona’s long-term scientific study of the nationally vulnerable kārearea/New Zealand falcon. The study identifies breeding pairs and bands them, so we can monitor them closely. Were currently monitoring 21 nesting pairs! 

All In is Cardrona’s newest pillar, and works on making the mountain an accessible, supportive, and safe place for all communities. What started with a commitment to representing gender equitably throughout our media has grown to an all-encompassing support for all communities. 

Read more about the Cardrona Foundation here.

About the Author

Eleanor Stephens