Inspiring sustainable business for environmental dividends
Zoos Victoria is a zoo-based conservation organisation, dedicated to protecting and conserving wildlife and habitat. This means it’s our business imperative to curb emissions and proactively manage our environmental impact.
In 2012, we introduced our Environmental Sustainability Policy, demonstrating our commitment to working smarter and continuously improving our business operations. To ensure relevance to global issues, the policy was built in alignment with the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), shaping our projects and programs across our zoos. This is seen in the way we care for the Coranderrk at Healesville Sanctuary, manage, and recycle waste at Melbourne Zoo, to the way we care for African wildlife with energy-efficient housing at Werribee Open Range Zoo.
Since starting our sustainability journey, we have achieved some incredible things, including:
- Becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral zoos (a title proudly maintained for over a decade)
- Becoming the first zoos on mainland Australia to be powered by 100% renewable energy
- Implementing a Single-Use Plastics Policy, influencing our hospitality partners to use compostable plant-based products
- Processing all organic waste from our operations and from visitors on site, which is then bagged and sold at select nurseries as a valuable soil additive
- Achieving an 89% waste diversion rate in 2019/2020
- Developing our 2019–24 Environmental Sustainability Investment Prospectus, a five-year action plan and ambitions as leaders in sustainable practices.
Knowing where to start…
One of the biggest misconceptions is that being “green” is costly for business. It’s not. Sustainable initiatives possess the opportunity to save businesses money in the long-term. Once you have an Environmental Management Systems (EMS) in place, the data speaks for itself, showcasing opportunities to reduce your environmental footprint and improve operational efficiencies that benefit your bottom line.
An organisation’s starting point – and ambitions – can vary when it comes to being sustainable. For some, it can be as simple as getting a workforce engaged and invested in curbing environmental impacts by recycling; for others, it could be to understand monitoring and measurement techniques to become carbon neutral and/or harness and position data to inform a business case for organisational buy-in.
No matter what your starting point is, all businesses hold the potential to improve operations for environmental dividends.
SustainABILITY is a great (and fun) starting point for businesses looking to improve their environmental performance by using their resources (water, materials, energy) more efficiently, offering exclusive access to ZV experts and real-world insights from our zoos to inspire your sustainability journey.