Wellington Zoo is the first Zoo in the world to become carboNZero certified. We walk the talk when it comes to sustainability and have made concerted efforts to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill, reduce our energy and water use and ensure we are doing the right things by our animals and the native habitats.
Continuing to reduce our carbon emissions is the most important part of this process, and for the emissions we can’t eliminate, we choose to offset these. The credits we buy are created from regenerating native forests. Currently, our credits support the efforts of the Pigeon Bush Reserve which is owned by the Native Forest Restoration Trust and lies between the Rimutaka and Tararua Conservation Parks.
Our staff work hard to continuously find new sustainable solutions through the zoo that help us along in our sustainability journey, both in big and little ways. Including (but definitely not limited to):
PLANTING - We have planted thousands of native trees around the Zoo over the last few years
RECYCLING - We have reduced our waste to landfill by 97% and recycle more of our waste than ever before
COMPOSTING - We have a bespoke in-house composter which processes our organic waste, including bones and animal poo that used to go to landfill
WATER - We have water tanks that can hold over 300,000 litres of rain water throughout the Zoo. This recycled water can be used for cleaning and in bathrooms and toilets
POWER - We have reduced the amount of energy we use by using energy efficient lighting and heating in both people and animal areas of the Zoo
FUTURE ZOO - When we’re building, we’re aware of our future impact. On all of our projects we demand the use of FSC timber and sustainable and environmentally friendly products, such as recycled concrete and plastics, are used wherepossible.
ZOO SHOP - Our Zoo shop is packed with eco-friendly products, from reusable lunch bags, to bracelets made from plastic bags in Colombia, lions and other animals made of beach waste in Kenya and paper made from elephant poo.
Our Sustainability Commitment
Wellington Zoo’s sustainability initiatives stem from our commitment to reduce the environmental and social impact of our activities.
As an ongoing journey, our pathway to sustainability will improve with time and experience. In order to reach our goals we pledge:
- To think before we buy and build—informed decisions will help us reduce the amount of raw materials used, eliminate pollution and reduce waste production. Most significantly to Wellington Zoo, sustainable buying can also help stop the destruction of valuable native forests and natural habitats worldwide.
- To think before we use—efficient use of energy, water, office products, fuel and other resources we use to ensure we reduce our environmental impact.
- To think before we discard—reusing, recycling and composting as much waste as possible will help reduce air and land pollution, and reduce the amount going into landfills.
- To share our experience and grow—happy, well-informed staff are a crucial asset to our success, and to our visitors’ experience. Through encouragement and training, Wellington Zoo empowers its people to actively participate in our sustainability journey.
- To nurture our community—we share many dreams with our community and through reciprocal involvement we will step forwards towards our sustainability goals together. To build a future for wildlife—conservation is at the core of all we do at Wellington Zoo. We aim to be a 21st century conservation agency which builds community understanding and support for positive action for the world’s animal species.
- To protect our future—forward-looking financial decisions made in partnership with our community of donors, visitors and customers will ensure Wellington Zoo’s financial sustainability.