Environmental sustainability is at the heart of RZSS. As a conservation charity and as a business, we incorporate environmental sustainability into our strategic decisions and raise public awareness of environmental issues and the importance of protecting the natural world.
We are committed to reducing our own emissions and restoring our local environment. From reducing our carbon footprint and becoming more energy-efficient, to preventing pollution and educating the public about the environment, RZSS staff and our Green Team are hard at work turning objectives into reality.
We have received a number of awards and accreditations for our environmental policies and procedures:
- Edinburgh Zoo has held ISO14001 certification since 2009. In June 2021, this was extended to RZSS as a whole, with Highland Wildlife Park achieving certification alongside Edinburgh Zoo. ISO 14001 is an internationally recognised standard, and to achieve certification organisations must be able to prove that they are managing the environmental aspects of their business, fulfilling all compliance obligations, and addressing all risks and opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, we have to prove that we are striving to continually improve sustainability in our operations. Our performance is audited periodically by an external company to ensure compliance.
- Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park have both achieved Gold standard accreditation from Green Tourism. Green Tourism’s awards certification programme recognises tourism businesses that are actively working to become more sustainable, and the awards are acknowledged worldwide as an indicator of good environmentally-friendly practice.
- Our Green Team were finalists in the “Green Team of the Year” category in the 2018 Scottish Environment Business Awards (VIBES).
- Our Green Team attained a Silver Award in the BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Sustainability category for the implementation of our reverse vending machines.
- Our Education team achieved a Gold Award from BIAZA for RZSS Virtual Summer School. RZSS developed Virtual Summer School to connect families with nature and promote awe and wonder for the natural world. It included a mixture of online and offline experiences spread across one week, each created to develop love and knowledge of nature in new ways, from baking to stop motion animation! Reduced resource usage and no travel resulted in reduced environmental impact in comparison to similar on-site programmes.