Wellington Zoo Trust
Wellington Zoo is New Zealand's first Zoo, having been established in 1906. As well as being one of Wellington’s leading tourist attractions, Wellington Zoo actively contributes to animal conservation projects and is a leader in environmental sustainability in the community.
- carboNZero certified
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What triggered the Zoo’s interest in greenhouse emissions management?
Conservation is at the heart of everything we do at Wellington Zoo. We take our commitment to minimising the environmental impact of our organisation very seriously and have been working on making our day to day operations more sustainable for the past five years – from reducing our power usage, to collecting rainwater and minimising waste to landfill.
Becoming carboNZero certified was a natural step for Wellington Zoo as we continued to work on minimising our environmental impact. We’ve been making great strides in the sustainability space for the last five years, but we haven’t necessarily been great at talking about it. We knew we were doing great things, but to have it independently ratified through carboNZero certification really shows how our hard work and commitment have paid off.
What value do you think carboNZero certification add to the Zoo?
As so many people from our community visit Wellington Zoo, we are in a unique position to showcase sustainability and inspire our community to take action to reduce their individual ecological footprint. Becoming carboNZero certified is a big part of this. Achieving carboNZero certification has given us a great platform to talk more widely about what we are doing in the sustainability space and inspiring other to take action. We can align ourselves with other world leading organisations in New Zealand and overseas that have become carboNZero certified.
One of the great things about reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is that environmental sustainability goes hand in hand with financial sustainability, which is very important to us as a charitable trust. Also, it has been relatively painless for us to reduce our waste, manage our power usage and conserve water – everybody in the organisation is involved which makes it easy.
How did carboNZero certification differ from your existing sustainability efforts?
The Zoo’s Environmental Management System and the vast majority of the data collection systems were set up in 2006 but the carbon neutral feasibility study didn’t begin until January 2013. We signed up with carboNZero in February and were audit ready by the end of April. Once we decided to go for it, it all happened really quickly – not even a couple of months.
The guidance and reporting tools provided by carboNZero were instrumental in getting audit ready as quickly as we did. On the large part the software is relatively user friendly and the report templates make meeting the necessary standards simple and straight forward. I found programme staff very reliable and quick to respond to my enquiries.
What advice would you give to anyone else starting out on the carboNZero certification journey?
Ask for help from either carboNZero staff or an experienced consultant. Making the decision to pursue certification and getting certified for the first time is the most difficult part of the journey. By getting as much support possible during this time makes things much quicker, easier and less stressful. The key learning from this whole experience is that for small to medium sized businesses, getting certified is easier and more affordable than expected, especially if the systems to record data, such as waste, are already in place.
For further information
Wellington Zoo Trust
P: +64 4381 6755
carboNZero Certified organisations
This certification is awarded to companies that are measuring, reducing and offsetting their carbon footprint.
To achieve carboNZero certification, an organisation must measure their organisation’s full greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (also known as a carbon footprint) so they understand what their impact is on the global climate. They measure all operational emissions required under the international standard for carbon footprints, ISO 14064, including vehicles, business travel, fuel and electricity, paper, and waste. The emissions are measured annually and the inventory is independently verified to ensure it is accurate and complete. Once they have measured their footprint, the organisation must develop plans to manage and reduce their emissions continually. Each year, the organisation then offsets any remaining emissions through the purchase of verified carbon credits to achieve net zero emissions. As part of achieving carboNZero certification, the organisation needs to achieve emissions reductions on a five year cycle.