Zoos SA Sustainability Projects
Over the last four years Zoos SA has put all the water feature pumps in exhibits, boards and all ponds and water features on programmable timers so that over a three year period we save 270,000 kWh is also the equivalent of 175 tonnes of CO2-e.
In June 2014 Zoos SA partnered with SA Water and other high water users in South Australia to design a web based water management tool. This gives us real time data on our water use so that we can identify water leaks and unusual usage patterns that can be addressed quickly to deliver future water savings.
New waste streams were progressively added to the list of items for recycling. Underutilised bays near the zoo’s workshop became a mini transfer station with recycling expanded to include solid and liquid organics, steel, concrete, timber, drink containers, plastic, cardboard, e-waste, medical waste and batteries.
The introduction of reporting allowed the zoos to benchmark improvements and also start charging tenants, such as restaurants and cafes, for their waste removal. With support from staff in separating waste for recycling, the improvements were dramatic.
In the first reporting year of 2009, the two zoos recorded a 54% recovery rate, with 228 tonnes of waste going to landfill and 197 tonnes recycled. By 2013 this had been progressively improved to the stage where only 79 tonnes went to landfill and 380 tonnes were recycled – a recovery rate of 82%.
Environmental Management Plan
The Zoos SA Environmental Management Plan (EMP) has been developed to guide future work and provide a clear direction towards effective and sustainable environmental management. Actions for environmental improvements and fundamental business efficiencies have been developed in line with the Zoos SA Strategic Plan and Five Year Business Plan. Adoption of the EMP provides an integrated framework for the future development of an Environmental Management System in the future.
Zero Waste has recently conducted a case study on Zoos SA’s sustainability efforts over the last few years which highlights our achievements. <link to case study>