Challenging the status quo is integral to everything we do at HSW, extending through to our approach to sustainability. As one of Brisbane’s largest precincts, we feel a bigger responsibility than most when it comes to doing the right thing.
Since opening in late 2018, sustainability and resource management have been at the forefront of our operations at Howard Smith Wharves. We set ourselves ambitious sustainability goals and are continually improving our operations to lessen our impact on the environment. Due to the sheer size and complexities of the site, it was always going to be a challenge to ensure we have as minimal impact as possible when operating a bustling entertainment and lifestyle precinct.
With restaurants, cafes, bars and a brewery that supply food and beverage across the Howard Smith Wharves Precinct, our core sustainability focus has been around ensuring the waste that is generated across the many outlets is separated, segregated, and recycled.
To challenge our thinking and ensure we remain at the forefront of environmental management, we continue to explore new opportunities and engage industry experts to advise us on sustainability initiatives and landfill diversion.
Over the past three years our sustainability practices have seen us go from strength to strength, with Howard Smith Wharves being most recently awarded the Best Environmental & Energy Efficiency Practice at the Queensland Hotels Association Awards.
In the last 12 months, we’ve achieved a total landfill diversion rate of 88.65%. This is close to 1000 tonnes diverted, which is equivalent to 148 grown elephants or a cargo ship.
We are working towards 100% zero waste by processing any brewery or food waste through three on-site closed-loop composters, turning the potential landfill into a healthy natural fertiliser that we use in our gardens. We also give back to suppliers such as Mini Farm Project, who use this fertiliser in their urban farms to grow food that they supply free to local charities.
As well as ensuring the spent grain from Felon’s brewery is used as nutritious stock feed for the good folk over at Echo Valley Farm.
And compostable waste such as green waste, paper straws, printer dockets and wine corks are sent to Nugrow, Queensland’s leading recycling and regeneration site, and turned into valuable compost
Through co-mingled recycling, and programs such as Simply Cups and the Moreton Bay Shellfish Reef Restoration Project, we are able to recycle a significant amount of waste which would otherwise go to landfill.
We now have 17 different waste streams across all venues which have been consolidated into coordinated pickups. This allows over 90% of these waste streams to be diverted from landfill and reduces the volume of waste leaving the site by composting over 50% of all food waste, crushing metal cans and bailing cardboard.
Since November 2021, our sustainability journey has taken on a new challenge and expanded by bringing Crystalbrook Vincent on board with our efforts. The Crystalbrook Group are the first hospitality group in Australia to achieve 100% waste-free bathrooms, with all of their bathroom amenities being biodegradable or recyclable. Creating sustainable experiences to achieve #responsibleluxury, the Crystalbrook Group have saved over 3 million plastic amenity bottles, and over 1.1 million plastic water bottles from landfill since opening their first hotel in 2018.
We’re thrilled to have Crystalbrook Vincent onboard with us, and we look forward to further enhancing our environmental credentials as we work towards our zero waste goal.
Since beginning our sustainability journey HSW has been presented with a number awards in this area:
Queensland Hotels Association (QHA) Best Environmental & Energy Efficiency Practice (2022)
Queensland Hotels Association (QHA) Best Environmental & Energy Efficiency Practice (2021)
The WasteSMART Business Award (50+employees) (2020)
And a special mention in the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards (2020).