Eco Sustainability

Discover Green Island  / Eco Sustainability

Located in one of the world’s most unique natural environments, here at Green Island Resort, we’re privileged to call this beautiful island our home. But being a luxury eco resort in a coral cay rainforest in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef isn’t easy! When staying with us, you can be assured we are passionate custodians; sustainability and commitment to climate action are second nature. While we are a small resort of just 46 suites, our environmental actions are significant and always evolving. From solar power and new generation technologies to some of the most innovative waste management practices in Australia…

Solar and Greener Power

Despite Green Island being home to a significant rainforest, the Resort’s solar arrays now impressively generate over one-quarter of all the island infrastructure energy needs. This helps to power the Resort, tertiary sewage treatment plant and desalination plant as well as the island’s other facilities including the Research Station, Telstra Tower, Marineland Melanesia and navigational aids on the Green Island jetty. Combined with new technology diesel generators and fuel-efficient operations, the lowest emissions are ensured.

Water Supply

Water is a most precious resource and sustainable management is vital for the island ecosystem. While it might seem a natural option to capture rainfall for water supply, it is very important on Green Island that no water is collected. Instead, the Resort has a desalination plant for potable water so that the rainfall is allowed to fall and replenish the moisture levels required to support vegetation from the island aquifer.

For other water requirements such as toilet flushing and irrigation, the high-quality effluent from the Resort’s tertiary sewage treatment facility “closes the loop”. We supply water for all of the island’s facilities.

Innovative Waste Management

Turning glass into sand and food waste into fertiliser. Green Island Resort is home to some of Australia’s most innovative waste management practices. Our ultimate aim is to close the loop with an efficient cycle that averts landfill, reduces emissions and provides real, tangible end-use products.

  • A *Food Digester recycling machine reduces waste volume by 90% as food waste is converted into a nutrient-rich organic fertiliser. The remarkable end-use of this organic fertiliser is for local farmland produce. The other byproduct is sterile water which is diverted to the treatment facility.
  • The first of its kind on an Australian island resort, the food digester is a real win-win for the environment with not only waste averted from landfill, but reduced transport and methane emissions from decomposing organic matter.
  • Our *glass crusher turns glass bottles into sand, further reducing volume by 90%. We have a permit to retain some of this sand for maintenance use.
  • The Resort’s state-of-the-art tertiary sewage treatment plant is one of the most sophisticated of its type in Australia. It processes wastewater from ALL island facilities. The safe, high-quality effluent is used primarily for toilet flushing, irrigation and firefighting reserves, to further minimise the impact on the environment.
  • The disposal of any solid waste or even composting on Green Island is prohibited and must be taken back to the mainland. Recycling ability and waste reduction is improved with a *compacter and baler for a variety of waste products including cans, cardboard and plastic for delivery to recycling agents.

* These noted Green Island Resort projects have been undertaken with assistance of the State Government’s Great Barrier Reef Island Resorts Rejuvenation Program's matched funding, 2019.

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

There will be no plastic straw in your favourite cocktail and we think you’ll approve! Reducing landfill and the potential for plastics to pollute our oceans is an important action we can all help achieve.

  • At Green Island Resort, we have eliminated plastic consumables like straws and single-use plastic shopping bags. Instead, we use biodegradeable paper straws and paper bags, while in your guest room, you’ll find a complimentary fabric beach bag. We also have water fountains for drink container refill.
  • Only ecologically sound toiletries are provided, sourced locally where possible. We’ve replaced single-use plastic packaging on complimentary guest toiletries with eco-friendly refillable dispensers.
  • Partially used guest soap bars are collected for “Soap Aid” for reprocessing into fresh, hygienic soap bars for distribution to disadvantaged communities in Australia and overseas. Soap Aid is a not-for-profit organisation committed to saving lives through improved hygiene and education while positively impacting the environment.
On building an Eco Resort

Designed and built to the strictest of environmental standards, Green Island Resort set a benchmark and has many unique features that make it one of the world’s most eco-sensitive.

While you might not normally give it a second thought, every building design feature is with purpose to conserve the island’s environment and World Heritage values. Here’s a few interesting reasons why the Resort is built the way it is… things to check out when you come to stay!

Built around trees and off the ground

Structurally, all resort building and infrastructure (e.g. boardwalks) were built with minimal vegetation clearing, and in many cases, around trees. No building extrudes above the tree canopy, therefore preserving the natural appearance of the island from the water, shoreline and air.

Raised boardwalks – the wildlife highway!

Buildings are linked with raised timber boardwalks to eliminate problems with compaction and erosion. These raised boardwalks also allow wildlife, like native ground birds, to move freely along the forest floor and do not interfere with tree root systems. The gaps between the boards allow rainwater to fall freely to the ground to replenish the freshwater lens beneath the island.

Steep roofs

Rainwater is vital to the survival of the rainforest plants on the island. Buildings have several features designed to maximise the amount of rainfall that falls onto the island. For example, gutters and other rain catchment devices are prohibited. Steep roofs help channel the rain to the ground.

Swimming Pools

The depths of the swimming pools are limited to 2.2 metres (about 7 ft) so they do not interfere with the water table beneath the island.

Even the colours of the buildings you see were designed to be compatible with the surrounding environment. As when the eco Green Island Resort first opened in 1994, today it resides in perfect harmony with its reef and rainforest World Heritage home.

Environmental Accreditations

Green Island Resort has held Advanced Ecotourism Certification since 2001, recognised for preservation and commitment to the island’s rainforest and reef surrounds, and the management of this world-class eco-sensitive resort. This certification is the highest eco certification attainable in Australia.

Staff & Guests

Green Island Resort’s employees are locals committed to customer service and educating guests about the Great Barrier Reef. When our guests go on to become eco-ambassadors for the Great Barrier Reef, they bring that awareness to their local communities around the globe, effecting change.