Indianapolis Zoo Honored with Environmental Awards

« Back to Zoo & Aquarium News



Norah Fletchall from the Indianapolis Zoo receiving the EPA Green Power Leadership Award from EPA Official Elizabeth Craig.

Indianapolis Zoo Honored with National and State Environmental Awards

Oct 26, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Zoo is extraordinarily pleased to be in the unique position of being honored for its “green” practices on both the national and state levels.  The nearly simultaneous recognitions began on Tuesday, Oct. 19, when the Zoo received a Governor’s Award of Environmental Excellence for its comprehensive recycling program, followed on Wed., Oct. 20, with the presentation of a 2010 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Zoo Vice President of Operations Tim Savona accepted the Governor’s Award during the 18th annual Association of Indiana Solid Waste Management Districts, Inc. conference and exposition at the Lilly Conference Center in Indianapolis.  The EPA tonight will present its award to the Zoo’s Vice President for Conservation, Norah Fletchall, at the 2010 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Portland, Ore.

Both awards speak to the commitment the Indianapolis Zoo has to its green practices, which include not only the purchase of renewable electricity and recycling programs for staff and guests, but also reduction of paper usage, using eco-friendly products, reducing lighting, unplugging unused appliances, rain recovery systems, water recovery systems in its water facilities, educational and interpretive conservation programming, and much more.

The Zoo was one of only ten organizations nationwide to receive an EPA Green Power Leadership Award in the Green Power Purchase category, which recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through purchases of green power (from renewable electricity sources) from a utility green-pricing program, a competitive green marketer, or a renewable energy certificate (REC) supplier.  The Zoo is currently purchasing more than 14 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 100 percent of the organization’s purchased electricity use.  According to the EPA, the Zoo’s current green power purchase is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly2,000 passenger vehicles per year, or is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 1,000 average American homes annually.

The Zoo is buying a utility green power product from Indianapolis Power & Light and it is the first zoo in the nation to receive an EPA Green Power Leadership Award.

“The EPA congratulates our leadership award winners for demonstrating by example the importance of using clean, renewable energy,” said Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for

Air and Radiation at EPA. "By using green power, the Indianapolis Zoo is leading the way toward cleaner air and a healthier environment while helping advance the market for renewable energy."

Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Commissioner Thomas Easterly presented the Indiana Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence award during the 18th annual Association of Indiana Solid Waste Management Districts, Inc. conference and exposition at the Lilly Conference Center.  The Zoo was cited for its commitment to educational programming that encouraged one million plus annual Zoo visitors to take steps in their own lives to embrace environmental conservation.  Some of the results include the recycling of over 6.5 tons of paper, four tons of glass, aluminum and plastic, 520 yards of wood and 24 tons of cardboard. They also composted 200 yards of waste.  The Zoo has partnered with Ray’s Trash Service on it recycling programs.

An annual awards program that began in 1994, the Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence recognize Indiana's leaders in identifying and implementing innovative environmental practices into their programs and facilities. By seeking out and utilizing innovative environmental practices, these facilities and programs have reduced waste, saved money and contributed greatly to Indiana's environmental protection efforts, benefiting the health and welfare of the state's communities.

"The Indianapolis Zoo should be commended for its commitment to environmental stewardship,” Commissioner Easterly said. “It takes a great deal of planning to organize such a large scale collection effort. Their collection can serve an example for all venues that are open to the public.”

About the Indianapolis Zoo

Located in White River State Park downtown, the Indianapolis Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Association of Museums as a zoo, aquarium and botanical garden. The Indianapolis Zoo empowers people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conservation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things.

About EPA’s Green Power Partnership

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use. The Partnership currently has nearly 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit

About the Green Power Leadership Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) co-sponsors the annual Green Power Leadership Awards in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Center for Resource Solutions. EPA recognizes winners in the following awards categories; Green Power Partner of the Year; On-site Generation; Green Power Purchase, and Green Power Community of the Year. EPA’s Purchaser awards recognize the exceptional achievement among EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through green power procurement, market leadership, overall green power strategy, and overall impact on the green power market.  The Awards are held in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference. For additional information please visit

About IDEM
IDEM ( implements federal and state regulations regarding the environment. Through compliance assistance, incentive programs and educational outreach, the agency encourages and aids business and citizens in protecting Hoosiers and our environment. Additional information about the Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence can be found by visiting

AZA Members: Submit your Zoo & Aquarium News