Sustainable Practices Toolbox

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Vancouver Aquarium

Vancouver Aquarium Aquaquest ©Jan Halvarson

Environmentally sustainable or "green" practices are becoming an increasingly important focus of AZA-accredited institutions. The AZA Green Scientific Advisory Group has added many resources to the Sustainable Practices Toolbox which are designed to raise awareness of ways to conserve natural resources.

Publications and Resources

  • AZA Green Guide Volume 1
    The AZA Green Guide 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. 
  • AZA Green Guide Volume 2
    The AZA Green Guide 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.
  • Bird-Safe Buildings  
    Bird-safety in buildings is integral to the sustainable building movement.
  • Climate Change and Biodiversity
    Pertinent research on climate change and its effect on wild populations
  • Energy and Atmosphere
    Energy conservation and efficiency measures; renewable energy; alternative transportation; GHG-limiting practices
  • Environmental Education
    Curricula; signage examples; communication tips
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
    An explanation of the LEED process and examples of LEED-certified buildings at AZA institutions
  • Materials and Products
    Environmentally preferred items, from compostable food service products and recycled paper to green cleaning chemicals and sustainable coffee
  • Waste
    Composting; recycling; source reduction; waste-to-energy systems
  • Water
    Water conservation and efficiency measures; native landscaping; storm water management; alternatives to bottled water

Pocket Guides for Greener Living

On-the-go pocket guides provide condensed guidance on ways you make the greenest choices in stores, restaurants, and your home.

Sustainable Practices at AZA-Accredited Zoos and Aquariums


The AZA Green Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) manages a listserver open to anyone interested in reducing their personal or institutional environmental footprint. Subscribe to the Green Practices Listserver.

Please send any comments or suggestions to Wanda Evans, Chair of the AZA Green Scientific Advisory Group. We welcome your contributions!