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Measuring Success. Green Trends and Metrics Doug Piekarz, Vice President Planning and Conservation Programs, Akron Zoo, Vice Chair, AZA Green SAG. What does “sustainability” mean?.

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Measuring Success

Green Trends and Metrics

Doug Piekarz,

Vice President

Planning and Conservation Programs, Akron Zoo,

Vice Chair, AZA Green SAG

What does sustainability mean
What does “sustainability” mean?

Meeting the needs of the present without depleting resources or harming natural cycles for future generations

What does “sustainability” mean for your organization?

  • Efficiencies

  • Enhanced Productivity

  • Continuous Improvement

  • Long-term, creative, strategic thinking


Top corporate sustainability trends to watch in 2013
Top Corporate Sustainability Trends to watch in 2013:

  • External pressures mount from stakeholders in new ways

    • Green as cost saving measures

    • Corporate social responsibility

    • Transparency is an expectation

  • Indirect emissions management heads our way

    • No longer just our direct footprint, now it includes the footprint of visitors, vendors, etc. as part of corporate social responsibility.

  • Green employee engagement is quickly proliferating

    • “Make conservation REAL to every employee every day!”

  • Water risks becoming a new reality

    • Too much, too little, too polluted, required management, (Ex: EPA / CSO)

  • Big data analysis

    • Now that we know how much natural gas, electricity, water, sewer, combustion fuels, chemicals, etc. we use in a year, and how our management decisions effected our usage – companies are springing up to gather the data and use it in new ways.

Did you know
Did You Know….

  • In 2011, the Carbon Disclosure Project gathered carbon emission data voluntarily from 3000 companies.

  • Among them are 404 of the Global 500 firms.

  • Perhaps swayed by CDP's 551 investor members, who use the information to make decisions regarding $71 trillion in investment capital.

What does all of this really mean to businesses?

  • The infamous iceberg example…

Company Value “Iceberg”

Balance Sheet

(operational Cost)

Market Capitalization

(Value / Impact)

Bob Willard [email protected]

Two-Part Business Case




Reputation & Image




Global Markets



The Public

Non-financials / Stakeholder Relationships








Bob Willard [email protected]

Big Four Sustainability Storm Clouds

Waste and Toxicity

Energy and

Climate Change

Food and Water

Poverty and Social Justice

Reputation & Image






The Public

Non-financials / Stakeholder Relationships








Bob Willard [email protected]

Mission Possible:

Akron Zoo Operations express our conservation mission

By addressing the ROOT

causes of endangered

wildlife at our


The Green Team is an advocate of

the AZP’s Conservation commitment.

We will advocate through Research, Education, and Motivation of our staff

and guests, while endeavoring to

create a culture that embraces sustainable operations.

Akron zoo aspirations bhag
Akron Zoo Aspirations: (BHAG)

  • Engagement: Create an understanding of sustainable operations with staff, vendors, volunteers and guests.

  • Energy: To be Net Zero.

  • Fossil Fuel: 50% gasoline and oil reduction by 2020 compared to 2009.

  • Waste: To produce zero waste.

  • Local Food: To support local food through our operation.

  • Procurement: To purchase environmentally sensitive products and support green vendors.

  • Program / Service: Ensure sustainability is a key message.

  • Water: Reduce water and sewer by 50% compared to 2009.

The approach
The approach…..

  • Evaluation criteria:

    • Mission feasibility – does our mission support it?

    • Capital feasibility – can we afford to purchase it? What is the return on investment (ROI)?

    • Operations feasibility – can we afford to maintain it?

    • Staff feasibility – do we have the skill set to take care of it?

Define Your Vision

Where is your institution now in regarding sustainability efforts?

In the next 1-3 years, where would you like it to be?

Organize Your Team

  • 1. Representation from every department and every level

    • include Management level as program champions

    • include any onsite vendors, partners

  • 2. Recruit participants (avoid being voluntold)

  • 3. Define Roles & Responsibilities

    • Advise the Director to reduce, reuse and

    • recycle

    • Dept Liaisons and responsible party in action plans

  • 4. Management support of employee involvement

What is our impact?

  • Determine what part of your business operations, product, or service interacts with the environment.

  • An activity can have actual or potential “cause” of an environmental impact.

  • Activities can be regulated or unregulated

  • Activities can also result in positive impact

Did you know1
Did you know?

  • The way buildings are built and managed kill more than 1 BILLION migratory birds a year?

  • This is the #1 cause of migratory bird population declines.

  • Why?

    • Light pollution especially at night.

    • Window reflections during the day

    • See

Getting started
Getting Started?

  • Collect your baseline data (ask your staff “How much ______?”)

    • Energy

    • Water (drinking water, storm water, waste water)

    • Chemical management

    • Waste (recycle, compost, reduction, reuse)

    • Purchasing

    • Combustion engine fuels

    • Construction (salvage, green bldg, waste reduction, bird friendly (reflection and lighting)

    • Building management (Computer asst. HVAC, Energy Star, Bird Friendly Building Management F.L.A.P.)

    • Awareness (employee, guest, vendor, contractor)

    • Innovation – “Re-think”

  • Use this baseline data to create a Green Operations Plan (note this is a Sustainable Operations Plan to the rest of the world)

  • Blue print for the plan can be found on the AZA website …..

    • AZA Green Award Criteria **

    • AZA Green Guide *

    • AZA Green Practices Toolbox (provides useful links)

YOU can do this!

Create a plan...and it doesn’t have to cost

you a dime (...yet)!

Set your staff free to be CRAZY GREEN!

Make sustainability a process, not a project!

And remember…..

What size is your iceberg?