AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums serve as conservation experts who are not only involved in assuring animal, habitat, and ecosystem survival, but also strive to conserve the natural resources utilized in their business operations. Sustainable practices are implemented to reduce water and energy usage, decrease waste generation as well as increase green purchasing protocols and renewable energy generation. The AZA Climate Initiative encourages zoos and aquariums to find ways to "walk the sustainable practices talk" as well as help their visitors understand the impact of climate change on wildlife. AZA has developed several mechanisms, such as the two volumes of AZA Green Guides, Green Tool Box, Green Award, and Smart Source Purchasing Programs to help AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums accomplish these practices.
Zoos & Aquariums Working Collaboratively
Numerous AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are striving to find effective ways to help visitors understand how climate change is impacting wildlife and wild habitats globally, locally, and even in their own backyards as well as empower these visitors to make informed choices and personally engage in sustainable practices. Funding to explore many these informal science education programs has been obtained through prestigious agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Read more about how zoos and aquariums are working collaboratively.
AZA Green Guides
In 2013, the original AZA Green Guide was expanded into a two-volume set. These guides are designed to help zoos and aquariums publicly demonstrate their commitment to wildlife conservation by “walking the talk” and model ways in which guests can learn how to be part of the solution for habitat and resource conservation. Each is organized by sustainability topic areas that mirror those used in AZA’s annual Green Award
Volume 1, entitled “Introduction to Building Zoo & Aquarium Sustainability Plans” is designed to help zoos and aquariums gain a basic understanding of sustainable practices, become fluent in a consistent sustainability language, and think about ways to develop a Sustainability Plan. All AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are encouraged to develop a Sustainability Plan, which will provide a critical starting point for staff to support the organization’s sustainable practice strategies and contribute to the Plan’s success.
Volume 2, entitled “Building and Measuring Your Zoo or Aquarium Sustainability Plan”, is designed to help zoos and aquariums implement specific sustainable practice strategies, identify AZA Smart Source Cooperative Purchasing Programs to provide discounts on sustainable products, and document their progress on categorical metrics through checklists. These checklists are designed to help an organization document its sustainable practices internally and track progress against its own operation over time.
Sustainable Practices Tool Box
ASustainable Practices Toolbox was created to provide a wide-range of sustainable practices resources. Content includes links to related publications and pocket guides for greener living, green practices utilized by many AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, and mechanisms to communicate with others about sustainable practices. Visit theSustainable Practices Tool Box.
AZA Green Award
Although AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are expected to implement sutainable business practices, the AZA Green Award recognizes institution-wide programs that implement outstanding and/or innovative methods to reduce their business operation's environmental impact. Read more about how to apply for the Green Award.
Smart Source Purchasing Partners
The AZA Enterprise Committee strives to create cooperative purchasing agreements with companies that provide our member institutions opportunities to purchase discounted green products and services. Diversey Green Products allows AZA-accredited zoo and aquariums, Certified-Related Facilities, Conservation Partners, and Commercial Members to take advantage of deep discounts on green cleaning and sanitization supplies while the Staples Business Advantage lets them take advantage of purchasing green office supplies. These Smart Source purchasing programs not only make business sense, but they also greatly increase natural resource conservation! Learn more about AZA Smart Source Purchasing Partners.
Staples Business Advantage Environmental Report on AZA's green purchasing impacts (1/11 - 6/30).
|Total Paper Purchases
|Total Post Consumer Recycled Content
|Average Post Consumer Recycled Content
|Greenhouse gas emissions reduced (co2 equiv)
|Equivalent number of cars not driven per yr.
|Total Energy (BTU's) saved
|US Homes heated per year
|Wood Resources saved
|Energy equivalent to oil saved
|Energy equivalent to electricity saved
|Equivalent number of average US homes powered per year