In 2016 the Edmonton Valley Zoo participated in the Sustainability Scholars Program. The Sustainability Scholars Program sponsors University of Alberta graduate students to work on sustainability-related applied research projects with the City of Edmonton and the University. This program gave provided the opportunity for a graduate student to research and develop the first ever Edmonton Valley Zoo’s Sustainability Plan.

Our scholar created short, medium, and long term recommendations that Edmonton Valley Zoo could implement in the terms of sustainability, conservation and environmental education. They conducted countless interviews with zoo and city staff, did detailed research on our energy consumption and contacted various zoological facilities from across the world.


CAZA/AZAC represents the leading zoological parks and aquariums in Canada. CAZA/AZAC promotes the welfare of, and encourages the advancement and improvement of zoological parks, aquariums, and related animal exhibits in Canada as humane agencies of recreation, education, conservation, and science. CAZA/AZAC accreditation is a publicly recognized symbol signifying excellence in and commitment to collection management, veterinary care, ethics, physical facilities, staffing, conservation, education, safety and security, finance, and supportive bodies. The Edmonton Valley Zoo is a recognized accredited facility through CAZA/AZAC.

CAZA/AZAC members should lead by example through conducting environmentally sustainable operations and incorporating the probable impacts of climate change on the world’s plants and animals into education programs. To achieve the goals of this policy, CAZA member institutions should adhere to the principles of the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy and should:

  • Use environmentally sound waste management
  • Be energy efficient
  • Use natural resources responsibly
  • Contribute to equitable development
  • Encourage public awareness and participation
  • Take direct action to conserve wild populations

The Edmonton Valley Zoo’s Sustainability Plan is modelled after the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Green Guide  and CAZA/AZAC Policies. The AZA Green Guide provides the framework to create a sustainability plan around specific sustainable practise strategies including:

  • Awareness
  • Innovation
  • Chemical Management
  • Purchasing
  • Construction
  • Waste Management
  • Energy Management
  • Water Management
  • Fuel Management
  • Biological Conservation

The Edmonton Valley Zoo is striving to be a leader in environmental change and citizen science, thus the need for the development of a Sustainability Plan.

This partnership with the University of Alberta has brought in a fresh new perspective on the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s sustainability programs and provided a framework our zoo can use to develop educational messaging and continue to be a community leader in environmental education.

Check out the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s Sustainability Plan Report Summary.