Sustainability at ZSL

As well as our extensive conservation field programmes and endangered species breeding work, ZSL is also working hard to improve the way we manage our Zoo sites to reduce negative environmental impacts and enhance ecological and social benefits.

Piglets at Hullabazoo farm

At ZSL we are focusing on six priority areas where we are working towards reducing our environmental impact.

The priority areas are:

1. Improving waste management

  • We are reducing the amount of waste which is sent to landfill – less than 3% of our waste currently goes to landfill, and we are working on reducing this even further. We also recycle over 8 different waste streams including paper, plastic, oil and batteries.

2. Energy efficiency and encouraging renewable energy sources

  • We are reducing our energy and fuel consumption by installing new condensing boilers, installing energy efficient LED lighting, using electric vehicles on site and installing renewable energy systems.

3. Reducing water use

  • We are reducing the amount of water we use through improved management, fixing leaks and collecting rainwater into water butts and moats.

4. Using resources responsibly and encouraging sustainable procurement

  • We are promoting Fairtrade, organic, local and seasonal products in our Zoo shops and cafes, including selling only sustainably sourced fish on site.
  • Working towards ensuring that only sustainable palm oil is used in all products we purchase including food products, animal feedstuff and cleaning products.

5. Improving training and awareness of sustainability

  • We demonstrate green ideas to visitors with signs around the site on how to protect the environment and conserve local wildlife.

6. Enhancing biodiversity on site

  • We encourage local wildlife to our site with woodland areas, ponds, logpiles and bird and bat nestboxes. 

Butterfly at Whipsnade

Find out more:

Environmental Animal Exhibits

Many of our animal exhibits are built and run in ingenious ways that make them much less wasteful, minimising their environmental impact and their cost. We are developing new ideas all the time, such as a new rainwater harvesting system.

Find out more about environmental animal exhibits

Managing Eco-Friendly Estates

One of the central ways in which ZSL practices sustainability is through the reduction of our electricity and water use and our waste production, which is all thanks to our estates managers. We have an ISO14001 standard Environmental Management System.

Considerate Retail & Catering

What we offer to our visitors at the Zoos needs to support ZSL's core conservation message. We select our stock for the gift shops very carefully, and source sustainable food locally for our on-site cafes. Some we even grow ourselves! 

Find out more about retails and catering

Horticulture and biodiversity

Part of Whipsnade Zoo is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) approved by Natural England, but our horticulture team go even further in trying to improve onsite diversity, collect sustainable timber and compost, as well as growing our own browsing plants for the animals.

Find out more about horticulture

ZSL's Environmental Policy

Find out more about our Environmental Policy: PDF icon ZSL Environmental Policy (130.67 KB)

ZSL's Supplier Code of Conduct

ZSL’s mission is ‘to achieve and promote the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats.’ ZSL is committed to ensuring that its mission and values are reflected in the suppliers with whom it does business, and in the products and services it procures.

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