Known for its towering forests, lush vineyards, vibrant gardens and natural attractions, the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges have always been the ‘lungs’ of Melbourne.
As such, sustainability is always in season here and across the region, businesses are implementing environmental and socially responsible initiatives at the forefront of their core business, ensuring our region stays clean and green for generations to come.
Healesville Sanctuary is one of four Zoos Victoria properties, a conservation organisation dedicated to fighting extinction.
Zoos Victoria became the first independently certified carbon-neutral zoo in the world in 2013, certified under the Australian Government’s Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard.
Zoos Victoria senior manager of environmental sustainability, Kiam Yoong said the Zoos Victoria team witnesses first-hand the impacts of climate change on wildlife, which continues to inspire a push for net-zero emissions.
“Since becoming carbon neutral, we have reduced emissions by 69% in the 2022-23 financial year,” Yoong said.
In 2021, Zoos Victoria also became the first group of zoos in the Southern Hemisphere to adopt 100% renewable energy via onsite 102 kW solar PV and off-site wind power generated through the Crowlands Wind farm.
“Climate change is threatening the ongoing existence of the diverse wildlife that shares our planet, Kiam said. “Therefore, it is our duty as a zoo-based conservation organisation to urgently tackle the devastating threats from climate change, by taking accountability for our own actions, supporting our community and through our vast and varied work for wildlife.”
The new Australian Wildlife Health Centre Gallery at Healesville Sanctuary.
Striving towards a zero waste to landfill goal, all properties have implemented a no single-use plastic policy, an organisation-wide in-house organics waste collection and aerobic composting service, and strict retail and catering guidelines for renewable, recyclable or compostable packaging. While they’re still on the journey, through these measures, the Zoo has reduced waste ending up in landfills from 86% to a mere 14%.
“Our zoos are complex and varied spaces of gardens, office buildings, accommodations, animal habitats, veterinary hospitals, restaurants and conservation centres. These spaces require vast amounts of resources to meet varying standards.
“Understanding resource consumption is part Zoos Victoria’s continuous improvement, and we have conducted a number of audits, metering and assessments to prioritise and develop energy efficient projects.”
Healesville Sanctuary's new world-class Raptor Rehabilitation Centre gives injured birds a second chance at life in the wild.
All of this complements the essential fighting extinction work by Healesville Sanctuary and Zoos Victoria, which supports recovery programs for 27 local and threatened native species as well as wildlife rescue and rehabilitation programs.
A favourite destination for locals and visitors alike, visits here are nothing short of a great day out, and now there’s even more reason to visit Healesville Sanctuary.