Audubon Nature Institute prides itself on being a sustainability leader in New Orleans and the Gulf South Region.
Sustainability at Audubon Nature Institute
This commitment is demonstrated through implementing sustainable business practices across facilities and engaging the community in responsible environmental stewardship of the environment. Current initiatives include:
Audubon Nature Institute has eliminated single-use plastic straws, bags, and water bottles across all facilities, and is in the process of eliminating all single-use plastic beverage bottles. These efforts earned the Aquarium in the Regional Sustainability Committee's 2019 Love Your City Award for Resource Management. The Zoo and Aquarium are on track to meet the Aquarium Conservation Partnership's goals to significantly reduce single-use plastic in back-of-house operations and eliminate single-use plastic in all dining areas by 2021.
The Zoo and Aquarium also maintain recycling systems for general waste, hazardous materials, and electronic waste. Both facilities promote special recycling initiatives for staff and community members to divert materials such as string lights, cell phones, and Mardi Gras beads from landfills.
And, the Aquarium is improving energy-efficiency through a multi-year plan to retrofit and upgrade equipment such as HVAC systems and LED lighting.
Audubon continues to increase its impact by engaging local business leaders in the fight against plastic pollution, encouraging 30 local restaurants to only offer straws upon request. Through partnerships with area restaurant industry leaders, Audubon is setting new precedents for environmental stewardship in a city where culinary traditions form the bedrock of local culture.
2019 Sustainability Goals
Audubon Nature Institute is actively working to improve infrastructure and improve sustainable business practices at all facilities. Sustainability goals for 2019 include:
- Reduce the use of single-use plastics
- Develop and adopt organizational sustainable seafood policy
- Increase energy efficiency at Audubon Zoo and Park
- Improve recycling systems across facilities
- Improve composting systems across facilities
- Engage local businesses in plastic reduction through advocacy campaigns