Royal Mail Hotel is continually exploring ways to reduce its environmental impact and contribute to the Dunkeld community. We’d like to share our achievements with you, as well as identify our future targets. We encourage guests to be mindful of their own environmental footprint while visiting Dunkeld, by getting out and seeing the beauty of southern Gariwerd (Grampians National Park) on foot, and supporting other small businesses in our local community.
Food & Kitchen Garden
- Up to 80% of the produce showcased on the Royal Mail Hotel menus is grown onsite in the kitchen garden. The restaurant’s menus are seasonal and are dictated by Dunkeld’s micro-climate.
- The kitchen garden produce is organically grown. Without the use of herbicides or pesticides, the produce is fresher, the soil is healthier and chemicals do not enter local water systems.
- The hotel composts food waste. This compost is returned to the soil of the kitchen garden and acts as a natural fertiliser for plants.
- The fresh produce from the kitchen garden and lamb and beef from our farms travels metres not miles. This lessens the impact that transport has on the environment – an important factor given the hotel’s regional location.
- Dunkeld Pastoral Co. Pty Ltd (DPC), the hotel’s parent company, is aiming for carbon neutral lamb and beef production by 2030.
- The lamb and beef are broken down on site by the chefs. This enables nose-to-tail butchering and less waste from the animal.
- Produce that cannot be grown onsite is locally sourced. For example, Allfresh Seafood from Warrnambool and Great Ocean Ducks from Port Campbell.
- Excess produce from the kitchen garden and orchards is turned into jams and preserves.
- All cardboard boxes are recycled correctly at a nearby Transfer Station.
- Wooden boxes are reused and repurposed.
- Corks are given to the local kindergarten for craft projects.
- Bottles are given to a local resident of Dunkeld and transported to South Australia for the correct recycling process.
Gardens and Conservation
- Native gardens surround the hotel. These gardens are designed to showcase the beauty and diversity of Australian plants, have lower water requirements than European-style gardens and create habitat for native animals.
- DPC participates in a wide range of conservation initiatives, including partnering in several threatened species recovery programs. We are working with Eastern Quolls, Eastern Barred Bandicoots, Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies, Fat-tailed Dunnarts and Squirrel Gliders.
- Since 2014, DPC has plants approximately 20,000 local trees, shrubs and grasses as part of revegetation programs and land conservation around Dunkeld.
- DPC is working to protect and enhance biodiversity on our farms through a large number of management strategies which include, protection of all waterways, covenanting of remnant native vegetation, reflooding wetlands (which provide vital habitat for flora and fauna, sequester carbon and recharge underground water supplies) as well as managing grazing pressure and farm inputs and controlling pest plants and animals.
Energy and Water
- Wickens is equipped with solar panels, with planning for an expansion of this program underway.
- Wickens uses induction stove tops – much more energy efficient than a gas or electric stovetop.
- The hotel has both Tesla and Porsche electric car chargers for guest use.
- Recent and planned upgrades to the hotel include the use of local materials to reduce the impact of transportation and to support local businesses.
- Refillable soap, shampoo and conditioner dispensers instead of single use bottles.
- Bio-degradable coffee pods are provided in the hotel rooms.
*We target local suppliers and those whose philosophy towards fresh, local food, support for local communities and commitment to the environment align that with our own.
- The hotel uses and recommends Eco-Accredited tour guides.
- Royal Mail Hotel’s website is hosted with Digital Pacific, a carbon neutral company.
- Sendle, the company we use to partially transport wine deliveries is 100% carbon neutral.
- Booking.com Cares Fund supports non-profit sustainable travel options.
- Applewood Gin is B-Corp Certified.
- Royal Mail Hotel employs more than 80 team members from the local, domestic and international community.
- Team members are provided housing options within the township of Dunkeld.
- Chefs work a four-day week, promoting a healthy work/life balance.
- A preference for local suppliers and service providers.
- Dunkeld kindergarten and primary school are offered education opportunities through the hotel and with our conservation team.
- The hotel sponsors a range of locally based sporting groups from the football and netball club to lawn bowls, golf and cricket clubs.
- The hotel supports not for profits and community groups such as local CWA, Rotary, Historical Society and Health Service.
- DPC has donated land along Salt Creek for the creation of a walking track, provision of an easement through DPC land for the construction of the Grampians Peaks Trail linking the township of Dunkeld to this landmark project within the neighbouring Gariwerd National Park.
- Annual scholarship awarded to a student graduating from Dunkeld Consolidated Primary School to contribute to their further education.
- DPC provides support for indigenous students from the remote community of Kalumburu to go to school in Hamilton.
- DPC supports local projects such as the redevelopment of the community hall.
- DPC provides support for biannual sculpture competition – prizes and acquisition of artwork to be placed along Salt Creek walking track.
- A footy tipping competition is run through the hotel, promoting town inclusion and involvement.
- The last Sunday of every month, Parker Street Project hosts a local live music act.
- The hotel offers apprenticeships, professional training and team excursions.
- Customer Relationship Management software, Cendyn, support local charities in Canada.
- Vectron/BPos supports the Peter MacCallum foundation.