From Ferrari theme parks to BMW business class seats, the notion of cross-industry partnerships is nothing new in the marketing world. What is new is the concept of bringing eco-friendliness into the realm of luxury.
Lexus Australia is one of the latest names to take on this green movement in a partnership with Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, the ultra-luxe conservation-based resort hidden away in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage-listed region.
The marriage sees two of the most respected names in their industries teaming up to flex their carbon-friendly credentials. For starters, the Emirates One&Only resort already holds the title as the world’s first resort to achieve carbon neutral accreditation for its operations.
Lexus meanwhile is a motoring company that has made one of the strongest pushes towards low emission technology in the past decade. According to an Economic Times report from late 2017, 75% of Lexus sales came from their hybrid cars alone. This isn’t even the end goal, with Toyota (Lexus’s parent company) claiming their EVs and hybrid vehicles are merely bridging models towards a truly zero-emission vehicle in the form of a hydrogen fuel cell EV hybrid yet to come. This is in accordance with the Japanese manufacturer’s push for zero CO2 emissions from all their plants as well.
For now, the partnership will evoke the refined sustainability of both brands. This means guests at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley will be able to experience luxurious serenity across the resort’s 7,000-acre private reserve flanked by Instagrammable cliffs and canyons. Those after more active pursuits can partake in bushwalking, cycling or horse riding.
Truly committed fitness warriors can even sign up for an epic 21-kilometre ‘adventure challenge’ trail run over valley and mountain terrain, rewarded with wind-down massage and, in the eco spirit, a commemorative tree-planting. On the relaxation front, The Spa is equipped with Sodashi skincare and Japanese-style soaking baths, and offers a range of spa experiences set against the backdrop of the Australian wilderness.
Even the menu boasts sustainable and locally sourced dining options, which culminate in the ‘Lexus Long Lunch’ – a bespoke three-course lunch and wine pairing enjoyed in valley surrounds at an exclusive Lexus lookout.
The Lexus connection is further bolstered with guests being able to make use of a fleet of RX and LX SUV models on site to explore the surrounding terrain in comfort and style with minimal impact to the natural habitat.
This new partnership sees Lexus acquiring a growing list of hotel collaborations, which already includes Jackalope in the Mornington Peninsula alongside Victoria and Raes on Wategos in Byron Bay.
The real question is whether these types of luxury partnerships actually work. In recent times some of the world’s most recognised luxury brands have announced their allegiance with the carbon neutral movement.
Gucci most recently announced that its operations have gone entirely carbon neutral to address the effects of increasing greenhouse gases. The clothing brand’s parent company Kering, which also manages labels like Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, added that it too would fully commit to carbon neutrality.
James Wyndham, General Manager of One&Only Wolgan Valley, says that the resort has constantly evolved in order to meet the changing expectations of its guests.
“The resort has proudly remained true to its original vision: a unique, ultra-luxury wilderness resort, designed and operating on sustainable environmental principles whilst offering a nature experience like no other.”
It’s an unconventional way of running a resort; conservationists look for solutions to maintain a premium standard of service whilst minimising environmental impact. Wyndham didn’t say if this new wave of green luxury services is what his guests are demanding right now, but he did reveal that those who visited often left with “a profound understanding and appreciation of it”.
Time will tell whether companies joining the carbon neutral movement will see bigger dividends from increasingly conscious luxury customers. In the meantime, partnerships like the Lexus-Emirates resort can be seen as pioneers of the premium green game.