A business plan that holds water
Triple bottom line – ever heard of it?
This is an accounting framework used by businesses who care about the impact of their business on society and the environment as well as their business success in conventional terms. Profit, People and Planet are the three elements.
Darryl Wilson of Wilsons Abel Tasman has a long history of running a business in which all three values are given high priority. Wilsons Abel Tasman is a Motueka-based company that arranges and guides tours in the Abel Tasman National Park by foot, kayak and boat.
Wilson’s business acumen is recognised locally, nationally and internationally. He is a valued consultant to other ecotourism businesses, and receives many invitations to consult in New Zealand and overseas. Maintaining good relationships with people who are stakeholders in the ecotourism business has been important to Wilson.
Wilsons Abel Tasman, which employs 70 people, consults with and respects the needs of the communities around access points in the Abel Tasman Park.
The company has been part of arrangements that limit access points by boat, and limit the number of landings to minimise disturbance to those communities.
Wilson has offered consultation to an iwibased kayak company. He has been eager to incorporate Ma¯ ori stories of the Abel Tasman area into the material that guides deliver to tourists.
Respecting the beauty, integrity and connectedness of the environment is central to the operation of this business. Wilson was a founding member of the Birdsong Trust and is involved in Project Janszoon, which aims to restore the park ecosystems by reducing predator numbers and weeds and re-introducing native birds, animals and plants.
Wilson, who trained as an engineer, focuses on using the most fuel-efficient marine engines and has recently bought a larger boat which will reduce the number of landings, reduce fuel use by 20 per cent and lower the cost of trips. It has a jet engine rather than propeller, with less potential to damage sea life.
Wilson’s aspirations for the future include running a paperless office. He wants to work with others – other tourism operators, iwi, Department of Conservation, Project Janszoon, the Birdsong Trust, to make Abel Tasman truly sustainable, ecologically, socially and culturally.
Wilsons Abel Tasman is exemplary in its longstanding efforts to balance business values with social and ecological impact.
For Darryl Wilson the triple bottomline of profits, people and planet guides how he runs his water taxi business.