Interview with Jordan Rodgers of Crystalbrook Byron
When considering sustainable accommodation in Australia, it’s hard to go past Crystalbrook Collection not only for their commitment to sustainable green accommodation, but also for their leadership in the world of responsible luxury. The Crystalbrook Collection comprises six properties located in Cairns (three), Sydney, Newcastle, and Byron Bay, each with their distinctive style, flair and personality. Geoff York, the company’s CEO believes that sustainable practices need to be at the forefront of each and every property, and that this starts at the top.
“For Crystalbrook Collection, this is all about empowering all our staff to think environmentally, acting smarter to create less waste such as the removal of plastics, embracing renewable resources, running paperless teams and working with local suppliers to reduce our carbon impact,” he said.
Since launching their first hotel in 2018, Crystalbrook Collection has saved more than 2.3 million single-use plastic bathroom amenities from entering landfill and have expanded their bathroom products from hair and body lotions to include biodegradable toothbrushes and hair combs.
Crystalbrook Byron’s general manager, Jordan Rodgers spoke with Sustainable Guides about how the property takes inspiration from its surrounding environment and oversees initiatives that not only protect the environment, but also create sustainable experiences for guests that never compromise the land they operate on. Such initiatives include locally sourced produce, paperless technology, complimentary eco-transport (aka bikes) and a $2 donation to the local wildlife hospital with every purchase of Koala Lager sold.
Sustainability in hospitality is nothing new for Rodgers, who joined Crystalbrook Byron in 2020. With over 20 years of experience, he has led many sustaibable hospitality businesses in Australia and driven change in the industry through carbon offsetting and renewable energy initiatives.
What he likes most about Crystalbrook’s green accommodation, Byron is the people. “To join a group of people who like to do things a little differently and most of all have a bit of fun was very appealing to me. And Byron Bay; it’s a dream destination.”
The property has partnered with many other responsible businesses to further develop their commitment to sustainability, including Liberation Larder (rescuing food from landfill), Subpod (for composting food waste) and St Agni (a local sustainable fashion label who provide eco-friendly uniforms for staff).
“Crystalbrook Byron has chosen to partner with local brands because of their commitment to offering sustainable products and ongoing consideration of the environment. As a team we are proud to highlight local brands that share our values” says Rodgers.
But it doesn’t stop there.
“We in no way claim to be the best in responsible tourism, this is a constant journey for us, and we are repeatedly looking for new ideas that fulfil our needs and the needs of the environment.”
When asked how new initiatives are developed at the property, Rodgers explained the “green team” of passionate staff who meet regularly to discuss new ideas and together find ways to make them happen. Other green accommodation initiatives that can be added to the Crystalbrook Byron portfolio include four thriving bee colonies and community beach clean ups.
Rodgers is especially aware of how COVID-19 has impacted visitors and if travelling in a post pandemic world feels a little daunting, Crystalbrook Collection have partnered with The Indigo Project to create a Mindfully Safe program for guests with any travel-related apprehension. The Mindfully Safe toolkit provides guests the access to on-demand self-guided meditation sessions, soothing playlists, and complimentary yoga classes.
On top of that Rogers explained that “cleaning and hygiene are high priorities of ours and social distancing in communal areas is ensured through the redesign of our interiors.” Crystalbrook Collection hotels and resorts are also cashless which encourages a safer interaction for both guests and staff.
What sets Crystalbrook Collection apart is their transparency and constant commitment to both guest experience and sustainable, green accommodation. Their continued support and partnership with responsible community-driven organisations ensures that visitors can rest easy knowing that by staying at Crystalbrook Collection they’re not just setting an example – they’re helping the community too.
For more information about Crystalbrook Byron you can read our feature article here.