Zoo Employees Reduce Carbon Footprint

Employees at the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society are taking action to reduce the zoo’s overall carbon footprint as part of a fuel-reduction initiative. They have already saved greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 0.71 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Since the launch on Feb. 3, employees have saved 75 gallons of fuel, with the ultimate goal of reaching 100 gallons saved per month. Employees are encouraged to carpool or find alternative ways to come in to work, such as safely walking or bicycling.

Andrew Aiken, president and CEO of the zoo, said one of the best ways to exemplify the zoo’s mission of inspiring people to act on behalf of wildlife is by employees taking action themselves and making environmentally friendly choices as frequently as possible.

“We have to lead by example,” Aiken said. “If we can save 100 gallons of fuel per month, that’s approximately one ton of carbon that we didn’t emit into the atmosphere — which is good for wildlife.”

Saam Aiken, conservation research associate at the zoo, surveyed staff members to establish a baseline of fuel consumption and created a private Facebook page for employees to post their actions for encouragement and accountability.

“So far, almost half of the zoo’s staff has collectively performed 210 environmental acts to save fuel,” he said. “We don’t need everybody to do a conservation act every single day, although that would be ideal. We simply encourage employees to take at least one fuel-reduction action per month. It only takes a little effort from everyone to get a lot accomplished.”

The Palm Beach Zoo is located at 1301 Summit Blvd. in West Palm Beach. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. For more information, visit www.palmbeachzoo.org.

ABOVE: Palm Beach Zoo President & CEO Andrew Aiken bikes to work.