Situated on the cusp of Fitzroy beach, the Coastal Walkway and New Plymouth town, the Fitzroy Beach Holiday Park offers the perfect gateway into Taranaki.

It comes as no surprise that caring for the surrounding land and community is a natural priority, however as a small business, climate action often falls below other urgent tasks.

Fitzroy Beach Holiday Park joined the Your Footprint, Your Future workshop series in order to dedicate specific time and space to focus on carbon measurement and reduction. Jenn O’Connell, Park Manager, was one of 19 participants involved in the six-month programme based around the Climate Action Toolbox. Run in partnership with Venture Taranaki, the workshop series provided the holiday park the boost it needed to progress climate action.

Having already started on the holiday park’s sustainability journey, Jenn was able to utilise existing emissions data and complete a full carbon footprint calculation throughout the course of the programme. Using the Climate Action Toolbox, she was then able to identify a range of actions the park could take to reduce key carbon emissions. This informed the development of the team’s climate action plan, identifying waste, energy, and supply chain as their key focus areas and listing potential actions under each.

To decide where to focus her energy first, Jenn undertook a further prioritisation exercise, analysing the impacts of these potential actions. Through this process, she realised that tackling waste to landfill would result in the best outcomes for the business. As well as being a key hotspot in terms of emissions reductions, reducing waste presented potential cost savings for the park. Waste was also an area of concern in guest feedback. With the nature of the business being customer focused, this presented an opportunity to engage customers on the park’s sustainability journey.

To gain a better understanding of waste volumes and compositions, Jenn completed a full waste audit. Through this process, she discovered that 40% of current landfill waste is potentially recoverable, either to recycling or compost.

This information has encouraged the holiday park to better manage waste practices. It is now exploring various initiatives that would inspire behaviour change with guests, minimise waste and potentially reduce costs for the business.

“There is a lot of information out there, and having the support to guide us through it and pick out what’s important was invaluable. The coursework and guidance really helped us dial in on the focus areas that would be most effective for our business, saving time and streamlining the whole process. The course also provided a great opportunity to connect with leaders from other local businesses who are on a similar pathway,” says Jenn.