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RZSS Green Pawprints Update VIBE Awards Finalist and beach cleaning

17/08/2018 in RZSS

RZSS is a wide ranging conservation organisation, and I’m sure most of you could guess that this includes veterinary teams, education teams, and even gardens teams, but did you know we also have  sustainability and green teams? Just as important as the work we do conserving animals and their habitats, is the impact we are having as an organisation on our environment.


In 2017, the RZSS Sustainability Team set out to meet a range of challenging environmental objectives. These included; reducing electricity consumption across both RZSS Edinburgh Zoo and our Highland Wildlife Park, diverting waste from landfill by increasing recycling rates and complete the recertification / transition process to ISO14001:2015.

Our long term sustainability strategy aims to achieve these objectives through improving efficiencies in  water and energy use, waste management, procurement, biodiversity, communication, & compliance with legislation.

In 2018 we have successfully reduced energy consumption across both sites through the implementation of utility monitoring meters across both sites. The Green Team monitor, measure and record energy usage, reporting findings and communicating any anomalies.

We also successfully launched our RZSS Paws Vs Plastic campaign, which included the introduction of a reverse vending machine, creation of “Pedro the Plastic Penguin” sculpture, an RZSS beach clean and highlighting conservation projects impacted by single use plastic pollution.

Green Champions

Buy-in from RZSS staff is fundamental to our sustainability objectives being met, which is where our Green Team comes in! The RZSS Green Team has undergone a transformation over the past twelve months and have been instrumental in driving awareness and making improvements throughout the organisation. Members of the Green Team are made up comprised of representatives from across the Society, encompassing both Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park, and are also responsible for distributing a regular newsletter to all staff that highlights our progress and helps nurture change.

Hitting the beach

Earlier this year, RZSS adopted a 100m stretch of beach at Fisherrow Harbour, Musselburgh through the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) Beachwatch scheme. In July, we joined up with the RZSS Wild about Scotland Team to take part in a beach clean along this stretch of beach. Results are still being compiled but the team collected over 130 wet wipes alone in just over an hour!

We’ll be having regular beach cleans along our adopted beach at Fisherrow Harbour and would love your help. Check our website for more details:

The next beach clean is scheduled for Friday 14th September 2018.


Finally, we are delighted that our achievements in developing and introducing sustainable practices at RZSS over the last year have been recognised with a finalist nomination at the VIBES Awards 2018 (Scottish Environment Business Awards).

The awards aim to encourage the efficient use of resources, and are held each year to showcase best practice, so it is a real boost to the whole team to be nominated. We look forward to updating you on this when the winners are announced later in the year.

We hope to see you at our next beach clean in September!

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