Case study: Australia Zoo

Tourism South East Queensland (North)

Australia Zoo is a major tourist attraction on the Sunshine Coast, only one hour north of Brisbane, with over 1200 animals and 400 staff.

They joined the ecoBiz program in 2018 and became an ecoBiz 3-Star Partner in recognition of the zoo’s sustainable water, waste and energy practices.

Key initiatives to reduce energy use

Electricity is the largest utility cost for Australia Zoo. In the past three years, it has halved its electricity costs thanks to measures in place to increase efficiency. The zoo:

  • sources renewable energy from two solar systems (648kW and 99kW) and has systematically replaced lights with energy-efficient LED lighting
  • upgraded some of its heat pumps to new efficient models
  • purchased a couple of electric vehicles for the zoo and provides electric vehicle charging stations in the guest car park.

Key initiatives to reduce water use

Water is the second-largest utility cost for Australia Zoo. It has significantly reduced its water bills by:

  • monitoring water use to identify and repair water leaks
  • installing five rainwater tanks (52,000L in total) to collect water used for irrigation, landscaping, animal drinking water, toilets and laundry
  • using bore water and water from seven dams for general irrigation and enclosure and equipment maintenance.

Key initiatives to reduce waste

The zoo has made efforts to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, including:

  • encourages visitors to use reusable water bottles and coffee cups by providing water refill stations and a coffee discount
  • reduced plastic packaging by using airtight food containers rather than plastic wrap and introduced compostable packaging
  • recycles glass (onsite), batteries (via Battery World), scrap metal, paper, cardboard, soft plastics (via RedCycle), cans and bottles (via Containers for Change) and staff uniforms
  • composts food waste and some green waste and animal waste.