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Sustainability - "The Greenest Zoo"

INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS

Our planet faces great challenges, many of which threaten the earth’s health and biodiversity. At Denver Zoo we strive to discover innovative solutions to secure a better future for the planet. We inspire zoo visitors and communities to meaningfully reduce their impact by providing a model for sustainable practices.

At Denver Zoo our goal is to operate in the most environmentally, socially and economically friendly manner possible. Through the prevention of pollution, continuous improvement of our operations to ensure sustainability and meeting or exceeding all environmental regulations, Denver Zoo is taking positive action to secure a healthy planet for both animals and humans. 

Denver Zoo Sustainability Policy (PDF)

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30% ENERGY REDUCTION BY 2020

Energy Conservation

Sometimes it takes hard work to use less energy. At Denver Zoo, we’ve enacted frequent energy audits, modified exhibits and built an innovative waste to energy system with the goal of reducing our energy consumption by 30% by the year 2020.

Working on reducing our energy usage, by maximizing energy efficiency and increasing use of renewable energy sources on site, we also will decrease the Zoo's impact on climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy generation.

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Water Conservation

60% DECREASE IN WATER USE

The water we save at Denver Zoo is more than a drop in the bucket. Through improvements and innovations in our water filtration systems, maximizing the use of reuse water and utilizing water-wise landscaping, we’ve saved on average 214 million gallons annually compared to levels used in 1999.

Denver Zoo focuses on behavioral changes and innovative applications to dramatically reduce our water consumption, while maintaining high quality for our exhibits. 

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Zero Waste

WASTE TO ENERGY

At Denver Zoo, 90% of our waste—from trash to animal waste—will be converted into clean, sustainable energy through our biomass gasification system. It’s the first of its kind anywhere in the world and, along with our ongoing commitment to overall waste reduction will help us reach our goal of being zero waste by 2025.

Here at Denver Zoo we are working towards becoming a zero waste facility by 2025! To achieve this difficult goal we have developed an extensive recycling program, a green purchasing policy and a waste to energy system. Denver Zoo monitors waste generated through our everyday operations to devise ways to reduce our waste stream and promote recycling efforts to both zoo staff and visitors. 

Learn More

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Alternative Transportation

DISCOURAGE “SOVs” 

We discourage staff and visitors from being “SOVs” (Single Occupancy Vehicles). By asking them to make healthy choices such as taking walks or riding bikes they also make healthy choices for the planet. We encourage and incentivize our staff and visitors to use public transportation, carpool and use fuel-efficient vehicles.

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 LOCAL FOOD

THINK GLOBALLY AND EAT LOCALLY

We like to think globally and eat locally-and so do our animal friends. Denver Zoo works closely with local farms and schools to supply produce for the animals and we grow fruits and vegetables on site that feed our animals and are used in our restaurants.

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