While Wellington Zoo is devoted to the animals in their care, they’re also dedicated to protecting their habitats in the wild.
Acting against climate change is a vital part of that, as it poses a huge threat to natural habitats. They’ve been Toitū EnviroCare Carbon Zero certified for nine years and won the inaugural WAZA (World Zoo Association) World Sustainability Award in 2019, a phenomenal achievement for a relatively small zoo.
Chris Jerram, GM Safety, Assets & Sustainability at Wellington Zoo says they’ve made a lot of changes over the last few years to bring down their emissions, including replacing their fossil-fuelled staff cars with four electric cars and installing EV chargers. They also have two bikes for staff to share, and bike parking for staff and visiting cyclists to use.
To keep their animals cosy, they’ve replaced old, inefficient heaters with heat pumps in a number of dens.
They’ve looked at where they source food for their animals, trying to keep it local wherever possible to keep transport emissions down, and they aim to recycle and reuse where they can. The Chimp habitat revamp used old firehoses to make nests, and old trolley bus poles and old port ropes for climbing structures.
Not every company will need to think about where their chimpanzees sleep, but Chris says getting on the carbon-reduction journey was no different for the Zoo than it is for any other organisation.
"If you're looking to start somewhere, just start. And start by measuring, because that gives you a good idea of where you’re going to have the biggest impact… Little things, like switching the lights off when you leave the office, making sure your heat pumps are running at the most efficient temperature make a difference."