Considerate retail & catering

It's not only the running of the animal enclosures that can have an environmental impact. With the number of visitors that London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo get every year, we want to make sure that the catering and retail opportunities at our zoos are as responsible as possible.

In the Retail Department, every effort is made to find products that are sustainably and responsibly produced, such as the new Fairtrade section in our Zoo Gift Shops.

A wide range of different ways of reducing the impact of catering for so many people are used in our cafes and restaurants:

  • We have our own herb garden for growing herbs, garlic, radish, pumpkins etc to use within the Wild Bite Café.
  • Suppliers: we use local suppliers where we can. All our meat is supplied through a local butcher who sources our fresh meat from within a 45 mile radius of the zoo. A local farm supplies our fruit and vegetables. We reduce the amount of deliveries we have where we can, still ensuring we are giving a fresh produce to our customers.
  • We use Rainforest Alliance tea, coffee and hot chocolate, and some fairtrade produce.
  • ZSL is committed to sourcing fish from sustainable stocks throughout the Society and particular for use in the Catering and Animal departments. Ampersand, who provide catering for venues such as ZSL London Zoo, carry MSC certification.
  • We support sustainable palm oil through our Sustainable Palm Oil Platform and Transparency Toolkit, our projects in Indonesia and Cameroon, and as a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
  • Our oil is long life and lasts twice as long as other oils. We also filter our oils every day to prolong its life, reducing the amount of oil we have to use.
  • Equipment: the equipment in the Wild Bite Kitchen is state of the art and environmentally friendly. For example, the dishwasher uses far less water compared to other machines.
  • Most of the disposables we use are either recycled/recyclable or compostable.
  • For our new Hullabazoo play area at Whipsnade Zoo, we are using floor tiles produced by Interface Carpets, our partners in the Net-Works project, which recycles discarded fish nets.