The Calgary Zoo’s mission is to take and inspire action to sustain wildlife and wild places. Conservation of species goes hand in hand with conservation of the environments they reside in, and we are committed to both.
We have dedicated staff who champion innovation and growth in all areas of sustainability, including awareness, chemical management, construction, energy management, fuel management, innovation, purchasing, waste management and water management.
To celebrate World Environment Day, here are the top ten initiatives the Calgary Zoo has undertaken to make our world a greener, healthier and more sustainable place to live in:
1 – Panda Passage achieved Petal Certification from the International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Living Building Challenge – the world’s most rigorous performance standard for buildings. Panda Passage is the first project in Alberta to achieve this prestigious certification and is part of the Calgary Zoo’s commitment to sustainability and cutting-edge habitat design. 🐼
2 – We are the only Bee City Canada institution in Calgary, and the first zoo ever to become a Bee City Business! The Bee City Business program recognizes socially responsible businesses, non-profit groups and other organizations that are taking action to protect pollinators by creating healthy habitats where pollinators can thrive. 🐝
3 – The Calgary Zoo is the first tourist attraction in Canada to become Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (LEAF) certified. This certification recognizes the reduction in energy, water and waste in our on-park restaurants and concession stands, the zoo’s practices in sourcing locally produced food and more! 🍃
4 – Even our dining-ware is eco-friendly! All of the clamshells, cups, lids, straws, plates and other food containers that you receive when eating at our concession outlets are compostable! In fact, we were one of the first organizations in Calgary to replace single-use plastic straws with paper straws. 🥤
5 – We are a 100% Ocean Wise designation partner. All fish and seafood offered by our food outlets and catering services are sourced from organizations that take pride in sustainable fishing practices to ensure the continued health of our oceans. 🐟
6 –Pandas eat a lot of bamboo – as much as 40 kg a day! To meet the needs of our pandas in the most environmentally responsible way possible, we source sustainable and ethically-harvested bamboo directly from China. It’s shipped twice a week using pre-existing Hainan Airlines commercial flights, which means there’s no impact on our ecological footprint! 🎋
7 – The Calgary Zoo welcomed 1.4 million visitors last year. Each year we invest $1.7 million into curriculum-based education programs for our guests to inspire action to save wildlife and wild places. 📗
8 – We support gorilla conservation by reducing, reusing and recycling cell phones. Coltan, a mineral used in cell phones, is mined in gorilla habitat. By reducing its demand, we can help save gorillas which is why we accept recycled cell phones. In 2017, we recycled over 3000 phones totaling 901 lbs! 🦍
9 – We use a hybrid car and electric golf carts equipped with solar panels! 🚗
10 – Since 2016, three stream bins for compost, waste and recycling have been used across the zoo. Because of this, we divert ~79 per cent of waste out of landfills! ♻️