Business With Purpose
Supporting Sustainability on a World Heritage Island.
Capella Lodge’s location on World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island means adhering to a range of stringent operational regulations. While they are designed to conserve the island’s spectacular natural beauty and unique ecology, they add another layer of complexity to balancing environmental stewardship and providing an exceptional guest experience.
“We aim to integrate our company operational approach to sustainability with our guests’ experience, through connections with the landscape, wildlife and local community.” James Baillie, Co-Founder of Baillie Lodges.
“We collaborate with the Lord Howe Island Board to inform and implement environmental management policies and programs that sustain the island’s conservation values, as well as following our own, additional sustainability guidelines,” explains James Baillie, Co-founder of Baillie Lodges.
“We integrate the World Heritage approach to sustainability with our creation of an exceptional and personal guest experience, through connection with the landscape, wildlife and local community.”
Sustainability and an Exceptional Guest Experience
“David Attenborough wasn’t exaggerating when he described Lord Howe as ‘so extraordinary, it is almost unbelievable’,” says James Baillie.
“It is such a precious and fragile ecosystem and we’re proud to be able to directly support on-going sustainability programs and to provide our guests with the rewarding and rare opportunity to be involved in world-class conservation efforts aimed at preserving this remote paradise.”
Boasting Australia’s best and most challenging day hike (the Mt Gower climb); the world’s southernmost – and pristine – coral reef; huge colonies of rare and migratory nesting birds and 75 per cent of the island protected as national park, the focus of a visit to Lord Howe is on the natural environment, and Capella Lodge provides a variety of entrees.
Guests are encouraged to join Lord Howe’s resident naturalist and author, Ian Hutton to learn about island ecology and the huge flocks of rare and migratory seabirds that visit the island annually.
There are also opportunities to learn about Lord Howe’s marine environment and its conservation through glass bottom boat, snorkelling and SCUBA diving tours, guided by local experts.
Capella Lodge guests can also become directly involved in world-class conservation programs on the island through the Lord Howe Island Conservation Volunteers program. Alongside experts from around the world, guests help monitor the island’s unique plant and animal species (including marine species such as the endemic McCulloch’s anemone fish, found only within the Lord Howe Island Marine Park) and participate directly in efforts to protect the island’s natural environment through weed eradication, surveys and collecting beach debris.
Baillie Lodges’ Capella Lodge has also partnered with award-winning Sydney-based artist Joshua Yeldham in its first artist residency program. The multi-layered partnership also provides significant funding and content for education provider Cool Australia.
“We are very supportive of education and conservation initiatives, and so when Joshua suggested working with the Cool Australia team both to fund future education modules and provide content about Lord Howe’s unique ecosystem we agreed, it offered the artist residency program even more meaning and value.” Hayley Baillie said.
The sustainability focus carries through to the kitchen. Capella’s menu showcases the bounty of the pristine seas surrounding the island, with fresh, line-caught kingfish and tuna delivered to the lodge door by island fishermen. Island-grown organic greens and foraged sea herbs complement the seafood and boutique-farmed meats, along with lodge-made specialties. All ingredients not grown or sourced on Lord Howe are sourced from the island’s state of New South Wales.
Design and Function
Lord Howe Island has a limit of 400 visitors at one time, designed to minimise impact on the island’s environment and natural resources. Capella has just nine suites, catering to a maximum of 20 guests.
The lodge’s design takes maximum advantage of the island’s temperate sub-tropical climate. Shade from endemic Kentia palms; shuttered doors; ceiling fans, and generous verandas designed to channel cool breezes mean that the lodge doesn’t require air conditioning. Glazing is angled to capture warmth and light in winter, while keeping the lodge cool in warmer months.
Forty solar panels are positioned discreetly across the roof of the lodge as part of Capella’s - and the island’s - commitment to generate 80 per cent of its power from renewable sources. The system reduces the lodge’s draw on the island’s energy supply (which is wholly generated on the island) and feeds back into the island grid during periods of low energy use. Capella Lodge’s ‘The Sunny Tripower’ system generates 14100kwh each year.
In an on-going re-vegetation program, the area surrounding the lodge is being planted to prevent erosion, using rare and endemic species such as Kentia Palms, Hopwood, Sallywood, Melaleuca, Juniper, Bulli Bush, Tea Tree, Berry Wood and Goat Wood.
Other Sustainability Initiatives (Our Mandatories):
- Capella Lodge uses green energy ethanol to fuel contemporary EcoSmart fires which heat both public areas and in-suite fireplaces. The lodge uses electric buggies to transfer guests around the island, and maintains a fleet of mountain bikes, which are the main source of transport on Lord Howe.
- As part of the 2018 refurbishment, all lights at Capella Lodge – both front and back of house - were fitted with energy saving LED globes.
- Capella Lodge captures around 75 per cent of all its water needs in rainwater tanks, with a total storage of 290,000 litres, harvested from the lodge roof.
- An environmentally-sensitive on-site sewage treatment plant manages wastewater in line with Lord Howe Island’s strict regulations. Wastewater is captured and treated to a standard that prevents negative impact on the island’s ground water and sensitive marine environment. A new-generation Kubotato system provided by TrueWater Australia provides an even higher standard of treatment.
- The Lord Howe Island Board operates a Waste Management Facility on the island. As there is no landfill capability, all waste that cannot be composted must be transported to the mainland by barge, at significant cost to the small island community. All residents and businesses are responsible for the sorting and delivery of waste to the WMF. There is a strong island culture of re-use, reduce and recycle that sees 86 per cent of the island’s waste diverted from landfill to recycling. Capella Lodge places a high priority on recycling, and all organic and recyclable waste is transported to the Board’s world-class Vertical Compost Unit for recycling. The compost generated by the unit is used for island land regeneration and environmental projects.
- Re-fillable water bottles are provided for guest use on outdoor adventures and there are no single-use drinking straws at the lodge.
- Guest amenities (shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap and hand cream) in guest suites are presented in refillable vessels.
To learn more about the Baillie Lodges Sustainable Management Policy, please visit.
To view the Baillie Lodges Company Values, please visit.