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Zoo achieves highest environmental accreditation

Auckland City Council Media release

19 December 2007

Zoo achieves highest environmental accreditation

Auckland Zoo has been awarded the highest international accreditation standard in environmental management - the International Standards Organisation's ISO 14001.

The accreditation comes two years ahead of the zoo's 2009 target to achieve the standard, and follows hot on the heels of achieving another 2009 environmental goal by 2007 - that of recycling 85 per cent of all zoo waste.

The ISO 14001 - the global standard of measuring and monitoring environmental performance, focuses on improving environmental protection by using a single environmental management system across all functions of an organisation, and on gaining buy-in from all staff and contractors. Legal compliance with environmental legislation, pollution prevention, and continual improvement, are key commitments in gaining the standard.

"For the past six years the zoo has focused intensively on reducing its environmental footprint, and has dramatically reduced its energy and water consumption, and the amount of waste it sends to landfill. In addition, design and operational standards for all new buildings have been introduced to ensure we utilise natural resources efficiently, and only use materials from sustainable resources," says Auckland Zoo director, Jonathan Wilcken.

"In tandem with this, we now have in place internationally recognised systems for assessing and managing our environmental impact.

This is invaluable as it's going to enable us to track further improvements, and in particular set clear and challenging carbon emission targets for Auckland Zoo - an action that we believe can be an example for others to follow."

The newly appointed director says reducing our environmental footprint is the most important conservation action we can all take for the planet.

"Right now, wildlife species throughout the world are under serious threat because of the way we are all using natural resources unsustainably, polluting the environment, and destroying natural habitat.

"If we all work to reduce our impact on the environment, we also work to help wildlife and their habitats to survive, both locally and globally," says Mr Wilcken.

Achieving the ISO 14001 (an outcome of the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit) is in line with the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conservation Strategy, and Auckland Zoo's own strategic plan. Auckland Zoo's Environmental Policy and information about its Green Team can be found at http://www.aucklandzoo.co.nz/

ENDS

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