Taronga Zoo and Taronga Western Plains Zoo recognised by NSW Government for outstanding environmental achievement and leadership.
Taronga Conservation Society Australia is celebrating after its two zoos, Taronga Zoo in Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, were awarded Gold at the NSW Sustainability Advantage Awards.
The Sustainability Advantage (SA) Recognition Scheme — a NSW Government initiative from the Office of Environment and Heritage — awards business, not-for-profits and government agencies for demonstrating their commitment to sustainability. To secure Gold, Taronga undertook an ongoing three-year audit of operations, strategic commitment and investment in sustainability initiatives. And in a first for the awards, Taronga Western Plains Zoo went from a Bronze award straight to Gold.
“This recognition is the culmination of years of hard work and Taronga’s long-standing commitment to sustainability,” says Anne Kehlhofer, Taronga’s manager for environmental sustainability.
“From water treatment to waste management, building design to habitat restoration, energy efficiency to integrating sustainability within the supply chain, we’ve been making improvements and embedding sustainability and environmental best practice throughout all of Taronga’s operations. This includes educating staff and guests about the contributions they can make and empowering them to take action.”
Taronga’s environmental sustainability program is driven by a commitment to improving efficiency, integrating sustainability and engaging people and the community to act in a manner that is more environmentally conscious. Taronga is working to reduce its carbon footprint by 10 per cent by 2020, and aims to become carbon-neutral certified organisation by 2025.
“We’ve set ourselves some ambitious targets but we want to lead by example,” says Kehlhofer. “We want to become an industry leader and a role model in sustainability and work with other organisations to help them achieve their own sustainability targets.”
“We’ve come a long way but there’s always more we can do. It takes a dedicated team to make changes on this scale but the team at Taronga is passionate about conservation and the environment and have already shown that they’re ready to make that change.”