Path-breaking sustainability projects require the dedication of visionary individuals to make them happen. For this interview we take you to one of our favorite cities, Sydney. Meet Ross Lardner, manager of Sydney Harbour YHA in the capital of New South Wales, Australia.
- How YHA’s commitment to sustainability has increased over the years to becoming a key element of the organization’s strategic plan;
- How YHA Australia determines and monitors the sustainability performance of its hostels;
- Which are the most effective sustainability features in a hotel;
- The main sustainability challenges for Sydney Harbour YHA.
Ross, when and why did you get engaged with sustainability at YHA?
YHA’s sustainability commitment was one of the drawcards for working for this organisation. When I started with them 14 years ago, I would say there was a commitment but not much focus towards sustainability. Over the last 6 years especially this has changed where sustainability is now a key element of the organisation strategic plan.
My personal involvement with sustainability started early on, with involvement in social and environmentally sustainable projects at the Blue Mountains YHA, such as grey water recycling and one of 11 Hostelling International Learning Centres for Peace.
When the Sydney Harbour YHA development was being planned, I wanted to be involved when I found out that it was going to be an environmentally sustainable hostel as well as built upon archaeological remnants of colonial Sydney. It seemed like such a fascinating project with real potential to set a new benchmark for budget accommodation in Australia and worldwide.