Throughout March there have been a number of internationally recognised days promoting environmental awareness and sustainable management. By shining a light on climate change, Earth Hour has had a powerful impact, encouraging everyone to switch off and #Connect2Earth. International Forest Day is also gaining momentum as a global event that encourages nations to engage the community in sustainable activities and behaviours. Many of our members are also taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and some have become industry leaders in the sustainability space.
In the last year, Perth Zoo have had a number of successful sustainability initiatives in waste management, water use and solar power. Their water management system is one of their greatest sustainable contributions, saving approximately 250,000 litres of water each day. The new system was one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the history of the zoo which involved the installation of nearly 1.8 kilometres of new underground pipework. However, the project was a crucial step towards their sustainability goals, ensuring that their portable water, bore water, storm water and fire-mains were as water wise as possible.
Several of our members have been recognised for their dedication to environmentally sustainable practices. Wellington Zoo have been an industry leader in sustainability for many years, becoming the first zoo to be carboNZero certified back in 2013. Their switch to Ecotricity, New Zealand’s first carboNZero certified Electricity Company and the change to LED lights and sensors have significantly reduced power consumption. Taronga Zoo have also been kicking sustainability goals with the Taronga Institute of Science & Learning having been awarded six stars, the highest possible green star rating, for sustainable design, construction and operation. This news came at the same time as they achieved their carbon neutral status, six years ahead of schedule.
Many of our members have been active in the solar power space. Zoos Victoria, Australia Zoo and Perth Zoo generate an impressive amount of electricity each year but some of our smaller members have also introduced great sustainable power initiatives. Snakes Downunder Reptile Park & Zoo made a complete conversion to solar power – a huge undertaking for any member. They also made the change to compostable food packaging and cutlery.