Camp Glenorchy receives prestigious ILFI certification

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI), a global sustainability standards-setting organization, has awarded Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat certification authenticating the efficacy of its ground-breaking sustainable design. Camp Glenorchy received Living Building Challenge Petal certification, honouring it as the world’s first visitor accommodations project to achieve the ILFI’s ambitious performance requirements for Net-Positive Energy, Net-Positive Water, Place and for the project’s integrated approach to Beauty that inspires the human spirit.

The Living Building Challenge is a set of rigorous international standards that require ILFI certification applicants such as Camp Glenorchy to deliver projects that evidence innovative solutions to the challenging question, “What if every act of design and construction made the world a better place?” It calls for the creation of building projects that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature does. Unlike other ‘environmental’ or ‘sustainable’ construction projects, in order to be LBC certified, projects must demonstrate results against exacting performance requirements over at least 12 months of continuous operation.

Camp Glenorchy draws upon one of the South Island’s first power grid-connected micro-grids, using 500 solar panels, battery storage and an advanced energy management system that allows it to generate more power than it uses each year.  Similarly, it captures rainwater and treats it naturally onsite, with a variety of low-impact water conservation approaches to ensure it can provide for all its own water need each year.

Built spaces and landscapes at Camp Glenorchy have been designed with an eye to inspiring and educating its visitors through both natural beauty and artwork by local artists, as well as historic references and hand-crafted features throughout. The property includes luxury eco cabins for overnight accommodations and also several meeting spaces, along with backpacker-style bunks. The facility welcomes a range of travel budgets with warm, welcoming spaces for families, couples, groups, corporate retreats, and gatherings for special celebrations.

Paul Brainerd, co-founder of The Headwaters, parent company to Camp Glenorchy, commented, “Our goals at Camp Glenorchy have been to do the right thing for both the environment as well as our local community. Our secondary goal has been to demonstrate a high standard of sustainability so others can learn from our project and adopt elements back home in their own communities, either within their business or homes.”

Brainerd continued, “Achieving ILFI certification for the team’s collective achievements is an honour that acknowledges the tremendous collaboration, creativity and focus on holistic results that have driven the work of the design team from the beginning. We hope Camp Glenorchy will continue to inspire its visitors from all over the world for generations to come.”

Camp Glenorchy is the world’s first ILFI Petal certification for visitor accommodations and only the fourth ILFI certification of any kind in New Zealand. In addition to its new ILFI certifications, Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat has been honoured as one of TIME Magazine’s World’s 100 Greatest Places in 2019. It won an inaugural Qualmark 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Award in 2019, recognizing excellence in providing visitor experiences that embody sustainable tourism and guest practices. Camp Glenorchy also garnered a 2019 Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) Sustainability Innovation Award.

All profits from operations at Camp Glenorchy at the Headwaters business, flow directly to the Glenorchy Community Trust, directed by members of the local township, to increase the vibrancy and resilience of this small community at the head of Lake Wakatipu.

Find out more about Camp Glenorchy's sustainability initiatives