At Southern Ocean Lodge, our environmental commitment is best expressed by the lodge’s interaction with its local natural and cultural surroundings. A dynamic environmental management plan featuring state-of-the-art, continually evolving technologies steers lodge operations and ultimately enhances each guest’s experience of the destination. A proactive approach to best managing the health of our environmental setting is key to our guests’ experience, to the ongoing appeal of the destination and to the sustainability of business in experiential tourism.
Biodiversity Protection & Conservation
Southern Ocean Lodge engages naturalist guides to provide expert interpretive experiences for guests, building awareness of the natural environment as well as cultural understanding, and encouraging a greater sensitivity for broader ecological issues.
Southern Ocean Lodge was approved under the Commonwealth Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act, the South Australian Development Act, the National Parks & Wildlife Act, the Native Vegetation Act and Natural Resources Management Act.
One hectare of land was cleared in the construction of Southern Ocean Lodge, or approximately 1 per cent of the total 102 hectares of private land purchased by Baillie Lodges. The remaining 99 per cent is protected to guarantee its pristine state for future generations. Native vegetation clearing at Southern Ocean Lodge was minimised by using existing fire-trails and tracks.
The site ultimately chosen for the lodge included the least native vegetation.
Prior to the construction of Southern Ocean Lodge, management undertook extensive flora and fauna surveys in 2005 and 2006, which identified that the rare and magnificent Osprey and vulnerable Hooded Plover bird species were found near the site. Environmental Management plans were subsequently put in place, including buffer zones and strict access controls; guest awareness programs; signage and ongoing monitoring of sites.
Southern Ocean Lodge is situated on an important wildlife corridor between Kelly Hill Caves National Park and Flinders Chase National Park. Encumbrances are now secured on adjoining land limiting future development and protecting the corridor.
Boardwalks and signed walking tracks have been established around Southern Ocean Lodge to minimise potential ‘edge effect’ of guest movements.
A commitment to best-manage energy is ongoing at Southern Ocean Lodge. The aspect and architectural design of the property has been planned to maximise benefits of the natural weather patterns of the location, encouraging flow-through ventilation and the use of glazing to capture sunlight and store natural heat.
Southern Ocean Lodge features an intricate Building Management System (BMS) whereby power usage in certain areas can be shut down during off-peak periods.
Renewable Energy and Energy Savings
In cooperation with Federal and South Australian governments, a set of 225 solar panels has been installed by South Australian company Solaris Technology both on the Southern Ocean Lodge roof and on sun-tracking frames adjacent to the breezeway which links the lodge to guest suites.
This constantly moving renewable energy source can generate 130kw.h per day on average, saving around 42000kg of carbon dioxide per year in reduced diesel fuel consumption.
The lodge also employs the latest heat pump technology for an energy efficient hot water system, equivalent to a solar powered hot water supply.
Ethanol-fuelled EcoSmart fires offer an element of heat to several guest suites. Low wattage, energy saving light globes are used throughout while LPG is used for laundry and kitchen facilities.
Extensive recycling is undertaken at Southern Ocean Lodge, with staff separating compostable materials, cardboard and paper, glass, plastic, aluminium and rubbish. Biodegradable chemicals are used for cleaning.
Waste management is a key issue as management aims to treat as much waste as possible on-site to avoid the impact of sending large amounts of recyclable material to the tip as landfill.
The award winning Australian-owned and invented ‘Biolytix Filter System’ was installed at development stage to treat wastewater at Southern Ocean Lodge. Using a chemical-free process that is also odour absorbing, the system converts organic waste, wastewater and sewage to clean irrigation water. This grey water is used on plantings in the staff village area via a subsurface system that also ensures wildlife are not attracted by food wastes.
Southern Ocean Lodge features accredited bathroom and shower fittings to ensure efficient systems for guests to minimise their water usage. Guests are encouraged to opt for towel and linen changes every third day of their stay, potentially saving 250,000 litres a year per lodge as well as minimising detergent use. Water is harvested from all roof surfaces at Southern Ocean Lodge and stored in tanks with a total capacity in excess of 1.5 million litres. A key aim is to have the property rainwater self-sufficient nine out of ten years.
Southern Ocean Lodge uses refillable water bottles for guest use on outdoor adventures. There are no single-use (plastic) drinking straws on offer for guests in the bar or restaurant. Guest amenities (shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap and hand cream) are all presented in guest suites in stylish, refillable vessels, which are refilled as needed as part of the daily housekeeping service.