As wildlife encounters are central to our experiences, the long-term survival and health of the wildlife we seek to observe are critical. We pursue the idea of “shared space” – so we adapt our behaviour and that of our guests, so the wildlife tolerates us visiting them in their home.
We do not feed or handle any wild animals and focus entirely on seeing them in their natural environment. An ethos of “observation not interaction” is shared with the protected area managers who look after our National and Conservation Parks.
A Code Of Practice outlines our commitment to sustainability for wildlife interactions, and this guides staff and guests alike. To ensure we follow best-practice, we have sought independent verification through Ecotourism Australia, a not-for-profit industry association which promotes authentic, responsible and sustainable tourism in Australia. Their certification program assists tourism businesses to reach best-practice standards and deliver quality experiences to travellers with minimal impact on the environment.
Exceptional Kangaroo Island was one of the pilot businesses in the development of the accreditation scheme and has achieved and maintained Eco Certification in Advanced Ecotourism now for over 20 years. This accreditation is not an end in itself – it is not a destination but a journey. The process of ‘continuous improvement’ is what we use to enhance our sustainability.
Australia’s leading and most innovative ecotourism products, providing an opportunity to learn about the environment with an operator who is committed to achieving best practice when using resources wisely, contributing to the conservation of the environment and helping local communities.
As a subset of the accreditation process, Ecotourism Australia assesses the climate action being undertaken by a business, in addition to the ecotourism elements. This assessment can apply to any business – not just those that work in the nature-based or ecotourism space and provides an additional measure of sustainability.
In terms of where we are at in our journey, we have established benchmarks for the consumption of water, fuel, gas and electricity use and the generation of greenhouse gases using externally validated measures. We have a staged approach to measure, assess, implement and review all of our operations through an integrated environmental management plan.
Our key environmental aims – as expressed in this management plan are to:
This certification is carried out by Ecotourism Australia and has a global rather than local focus. To ensure consistency across the world, Ecotourism Australia has aligned the principles and standards they implement with those of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
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Exceptional Kangaroo Island has recommenced private and small group touring operations, operated in a COVID-safe manner.