The finalists for the 2019 New Zealand Tourism Awards have been announced, including a nomination recognising hotel chain Sudima's sustainability initiative.

The Enviro-Mark Solutions Environmental Award is designed to recognise and celebrate environmentally-friendly business practices. Sudima has been nominated alongside Auckland Zoo, Kiwi Experience, and YHA New Zealand.

Sudima was the first hotel group in New Zealand to achieve carboNZero certification. The group's Auckland Airport hotel includes refrigerator-free guest rooms, LED lighting, and Chilled Beam airconditioning which utilises hot and cold water to maximise energy efficiency and provide twice the fresh air of any comparable system.

Sudima Auckland Airport

The hotel has a Qualmark rating of 4.5 and utilises harvested rainwater that is filtered and recycled for non-potable use. "You have to leave the world in a better position than you found it," said CEO Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala.

YHA New Zealand's inclusion in the nominations represents a challenge from the not-for-profit sector to the rest of the industry. The group was the first accommodation network in the world to become carboNZero certified, and also represents the largest accommodation network to achieve the certification with thirteen YHA-managed hostels.

YHA has installed solar panels and efficient hot water systems in Wellington, Aoraki Mt Cook, Franz Josef, and their brand new YHA Lake Tekapo. YHA Rotorua also uses geothermal energy to power the hostel's hot water systems.