Environmental Stewardship Initiative Presented by Mary Joan Pugh, FAICPChief of Staff / Business Officer
The Zoo’s environmental stewardship beganin 1989 when the Zoo conducted a waste audit. • In 1994 the Conservation Captains were established to meet monthly to find ways to reduce, reuse and recycle waste materials. • Representing all levels, locations, and work units at the Zoo, the Conservation Captains develop an annual work plan. • This group sponsors employee awareness, Earth Day, an Annual "Use Less Stuff Sale", Adopt-A-Highway and recycling activities. Conservation Captains
ISO 14001 EMS • With Conservation Captains, the Zoo was only reaching the “low hanging fruit” of sustainability • Decided to take a more systematic approach to sustainability • Chose ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems • EMS looks at the Zoo’s significant impact on the environment and develops a plan to address it. • The Zoo began with Horticulture operations.
Environmental Policy G Growth in knowledge and continued improvement R Reduction in use of resources and waste E Environmentally responsible and sustainable operation E Example to others N Necessary compliance with environmental laws and regulations
Significant Aspects and Impacts TOP FIVE ASPECTIMPACT T Total Organic Recycling/reusing/landfill Materials diversion Pest management Reduce use of harmful chemicals Gas/Diesel Depletion of Nonrenewable Resources Water use Depletion of water supply Fertilizer Runoff Surface water contamination
Use Composting to reduce, reuse and divert organic materials from the landfill. • Have a permitted composting operation for 9 years • Goal - Increase recovery of waste from manure, bedding, plant material, kitchen scraps, and corrugated cardboard. • Target - 1300 tons for 2004 • Results - Composted 1529 tons resulting in savings of $103,000 • 8 year Results - 10,806 tons resulting in savings of $720,101 Composting
Pest Management • Since 1999 Horticulture has used biological controls instead of pesticides to manage pests . • Goal - Use least toxic but effective method of plant pest control so as to reduce chemical use and contamination of soil and water. • Target - Optimize biological control (Integrated Pest Management) • Results - In last two years reduced chemical use by 22 to 66 gallons by substituting biological controls.
Water Reduction • Zoo uses over 40 million gallons of water per year for exhibits, irrigation, and cleaning • Meters were installed 1996 to monitor water use and detect leaks • Upgrades to aquatic filtration systems have resulted in less frequent turnover of backwash and fewer tank drain-and-fills. • Water for irrigation is mainly supplied from two on-site lakes. • High pressure/low volume nozzles are used to clean animal areas.
Water Conservation • Goal - Applywater conservation principles to reduce water use • Target - Implement water efficiency principles • Results - In Chimp Exhibit reduced water use from 120,400 gallons to 61,100 gallons per rain events by adjusting irrigation system and water criteria.
Gas / Diesel • Horticulture is responsible for maintaining 500 acres of plants in exhibits and along walkways. • Goal - Reduce gas/diesel use to decrease use of non-renewable resources and air pollutants • Target - Maintain same overall fuel use and target mpg reduction per vehicle • Results - In January 2005, overall diesel use reduction of 33% and with biodiesel reduced petroleum diesel by 50%
Biofuel Biodiesel • New project to convert waste oil from Zoo restaurants into clean burning, renewal biodiesel to fuel Zoo vehicles and equipment. • Biodiesel is a mix of biofuel made from vegetable oil and diesel. The mix is usually B20 - 20% biofuel and 80% diesel. • The Zoo has been using B20 purchased with a grant from the N C Solar Center which pays 2/3 the difference in the cost of biodiesel and petroleum diesel
The Zoo received an Air Quality Mobile Source Emissions Reduction Grant to build a processor that will convert used vegetable oil from Zoo restaurants into renewable biofuel. • Biofuel is clean burning and B20 will reduce air pollutants such as: • Carbon monoxide - 12% • Hydrocarbons - 20% • Sulfates - 20% • Particulates - 12% • Air Toxics - 20% • The used oil from Zoo restaurants will supply 12,000 of the 26,000 gallons of B20 needed. Biodiesel • The Zoo will promote biofuel with trams/buses graphic, web page and educational cart
Horticulture has been using organic fertilizers for several years. • Organic fertilizer are released more slowly and the plants absorbed the nutrients as they are released resulting in less nutrient runoff and water pollution. • Goal - Use organic fertilizers at proper levels to reduce use and runoff. • Target - Implement protocols • Results - In 2004 overall fertilizer use reduced 2 tons and maintained 97% organic fertilizer use. Fertilizers
Horticulture also decided to monitor water quality at the Zoo to assess impact of fertilizer use. • Goal - Maintain or improve water quality of lakes and streams • Target - Monitor water sites at least two times per year using students • Target - Develop water pollution prevention plan identifying high fertilization and erosion hot spots. • Results - Water quality baseline, water pollution prevention plan and model environmental education program developed. Fertilizers/ Water Quality
Constructed Wetland • As a result of the Water P2 Plan, the ESI program awarded the Zoo a grant to design a constructed wetland/picnic area to filter runoff from the North America parking lot. • DOT will design the wetland • Horticulture will select plants that absorb EPA listed water pollutants. • Zoo staff will do water testing. • An architect will design the picnic area and a master plan for the area. • Zoo Education will develop an interpretive graphic.
The Zoo manages a Randolph County Recycling Drop Site that accepts mixed paper, newspaper, Al cans and plastic. • The Zoo collects office paper, corrugated cardboard, used motor oil, oil filters, tires, batteries, pallets, antifreeze, cooking grease, wood waste, and plastic six pack rings. • The Zoo collects used cell phones to reuse for emergency services and to keep toxic chemicals out of landfills. Unusable phones are disposed of responsibly. Over 1050 phones collected in 2004. Recycling
Reduce paper by • utilizing e-mail and bulletin boards • expanding margins, copying both sides • reusing file folders, envelopes, and scrap paper. • entering check requests and purchase orders directly. • Buy in bulk • cleaners, paper goods, electrolyte drinks and drugs Solid Waste
Buy Recycled • Items made from recycled plastic • Picnic tables • Recycling containers • Decking used in Aviary • Fencing in Touch and Learn Center
Energy Management • Since 1998 the Zoo has used a computerized energy management system to control temperature and humidity in each building and exhibit. • In the Education Center alone, it has reduced electricity use by 40%. • Rangers and other staff use bicycles for travel in the Park saving 200 miles per year. • The Zoo has a megagenerator the operates during peak time and power outages.
End Goal Improve Zoo’s Ecological Footprint