The Maria Island Walk Steps Toward Reducing Carbon Emissions

The Maria Island Walk, operated by Wild Bush Luxury, has been operating since 2002. The stands as a beacon of eco-tourism on Maria Island National Park, off Tasmania's east coast. This multi-award-winning business specialises in immersive experiences that celebrate Australia’s unique landscapes and wildlife, employing a small full-time team alongside numerous seasonal staff.


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Challenges Prior to the Tourism Emissions Reduction Program 

Despite its proactive environmental strategies, The Maria Island Walk faced challenges in quantifying its carbon footprint. The company’s General Manager Operations Tasmania, Ben Brown explained, "Whilst we believed we are doing everything we can to be as sustainable as possible, the task of estimating our carbon footprint was daunting."

Integration of the Tourism Emissions Reduction Program 

The company discovered the Tourism Emissions Reduction Program based on the ERC Protocol through a newsletter from the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (TICT). Motivated by the program’s alignment with their values, they decided to implement it. "I thought it looked like an intuitive program to step into our business's carbon emission reduction," the General Manager remarked, highlighting the appeal of the ERC’s straightforward approach.

Among the five stages of the ERC Protocol, Stage 2 and Stage 4 were particularly transformative. Stage 2 helped set realistic emission reduction goals, while Stage 4 facilitated immediate offsetting through the New Leaf Project, resonating with their conservation-focused philosophy. 

"Stage 2 was helpful in setting goals within realistic time frames against our specific emission sources. Stage 4 was great to see an immediate offset of emissions," Ben shared.

"Integrating the ERC protocol was very easy, the action plan sets out goals for the business over the next 10 years and is easily shared to guests and suppliers via our own website," the General Manager Operations noted. The process led to a clearer pathway for emission reduction with defined fiscal year budget goals, aligning operational activities with sustainability objectives.

Also, internally at Maria Island Walk, the alignment and implementation of the Program have bolstered the company culture, with staff actively participating in emissions reduction efforts.

Future Outlook and Recommendations

The Maria Island Walk plans to continue its sustainability journey with the Tourism Emissions Reduction Program, maintaining rigorous annual reviews of its carbon management practices. The General Manager Operations highly recommends the Program to other businesses: 

"The ERC platform is incredibly intuitive to use and has easy step-by-step instructions... It’s a great tool for businesses to start their emissions reduction journey!"


The Maria Island Walk’s Tourism Emission Reduction Program implementation exemplifies how tailored environmental management systems can profoundly impact eco-tourism operations. By embracing structured sustainability measures, they enhance their operational efficacy and affirm their commitment to preserving the natural beauty that defines their tours.

Check out Maria Island's Climate Action Plan here

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