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Environmental management

At Zoos Victoria, we lead by example. As leaders in wildlife conservation and animal care, zoos are in a unique position to showcase environmental sustainability and inspire our visitors to take action to conserve wildlife and the natural world.

Our environmental management system

Our Environmental Management System demonstrates best practice in managing and reducing our environmental impacts. In July 2012, Zoos Victoria received ISO 14001 Certification becoming the only zoos in Australia to achieve this and one of only a handful of certified zoos in the world!

This independent certification demonstrates that we employ best practice in managing and reducing our environmental impacts.

Find out more regarding our Environmental Management System:

Habitat protection and rehabilitation

Werribee River

Zoos Victoria is committed to improving the habitat for local fauna along the Werribee River and its floodplain, within the Werribee Open Range Zoo. The Zoo’s efforts are particularly focused on threatened species.

Over the past 12 years, Zoo staff have been revegetating along the river, creating a wildlife corridor that contains significant riparian, wetland and woodland environments. The corridor provides habitat for several threatened species (including the Growling Grass Frog) and a diverse range of wetland birds and raptors. It also provides connectivity for wildlife, in a cleared and increasingly developed landscape.

The Werribee Open Range Zoo has developed a detailed management plan for the wildlife corridor; which is now being implemented. Current activities include weed control and revegetation works.


Practicing green procurement

Our purchasing policy prioritises green products and services. The products and services we use have a huge impact on the environment.  Our Green Procurement Working Group will work towards integration of all areas of green procurement including our purchasing procedures, supplier and product accreditation, contract development, service agreements and capital development.

The aims of our green procurement are:

  • Minimise our energy consumption
  • Minimise carbon emissions and pollution
  • Minimise habitat destruction at product source and at our properties
  • Minimise waste to landfill
  • Minimise water consumption
  • Promote recycling and reuse
  • Minimise hazards at our properties
  • Streamline green purchasing for staff

Some of the green products and services we currently purchase are:

  • 100% post-consumer recycled office paper
  • 100% post-consumer recycled and 100% recycled toilet paper
  • FSC certified thermal ticket paper
  • Locally made hybrid passenger vehicles
  • 20% biodiesel mix for Melbourne Zoo’s diesel vehicles
  • Energy efficiency products such as heat pump heaters, air conditioners and LED lighting 
  • Reclaimed or recycled timbers for our exhibits
  • Timber substitutes such as recycled plastic park benches, bollards and beams
  • Green cleaning chemicals
  • Greener IT equipment
  • Greener Internet services

Ecologically sustainable design and development

Ecologically sustainable design

Our Green Procurement Working Group works with the zoo’s development teams with the aim to incorporate  ecologically sustainable design principles in all developments.

Recent developments include:

  • Passive design for minimum heating and cooling
  • Technological solutions for improved energy efficiency
  • Green procurement as part of project development
  • Water efficiency, rainwater harvesting and recycling

Skill Up Green: Staff sustainability training

At Zoos Victoria, we ensure that all our staff members are trained in environmental sustainability. Our extensive award winning (Sport and Arts Awards 2010 – Skills for Sustainability) training program, Skill Up Green, develops Zoos Victoria staff as leaders in conservation and green skills.

In 2012, a total of 140 staff completed the training. This program is delivered in conjunction with Swinburne University, using nationally accredited competency standards in environmental sustainability.