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Environmental Management

People are having a devastating impact on the planet...

Habitat destruction, pollution and the pressures of growing populations are causing flooding, extinctions and climate change. Environmental damage can affect the species and habitats we are trying to save, so we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously.

We have an Environmental Management System (EMS) certified to the internationally-recognised ISO 14001 standard. The purpose of an EMS is to reduce the adverse environmental effects of running a business. Paignton Zoo was the third zoo in the world to be awarded ISO 14001.

Annual internal and external audits help us to make sure our systems are working.

What do we do?

At Paignton Zoo we understand the direct impact business practice can have on the environment and in particular the ultimate effect this has on the habitat of many animals. Therefore sustainability is naturally at the heart of our business and we are passionate about highlighting environmental issues to our visitors though our actions.

Our commitment to sustainable practices has helped Paignton Zoo drive down our water and energy consumption, and ultimately our utility costs. However we will never be complacent and seek to continually reduce our environmental impacts.

Internally we have undertaken the following to reduce our energy consumption and demonstrate best practice to others by:

  • Recycling any piece of rubbish that we can.
  • Only using and selling products that contain sustainable palm oil, from accredited sources.
  • Eliminating the sale of plastic drinks bottles across the whole zoo.
  • Only using packaging that is compostable – our cups, straws and other catering items may look plastic, but they are in fact made from PLA, a compostable bioplastic derived from natural plant sugars!
  • Removing plastic sweet wrappers in our gift shop for biodegradable alternatives.
  • Installing heat pumps to reduce our energy consumption in keeping exotic animals.
  • Using solar panels in our Amphibian Ark exhibit and restaurant, which generates 50% of the electricity to operate the buildings and a solar thermal array generates 80% of the hot water need for the restaurant.
  • Installing a biomass boiler to heat the Crocodile Swamp exhibit.
  • Using reed beds to treat effluent generate on site from our composting bays.