The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre’s UpStream Café has been awarded the annual Terry Biggar award by the British Columbia Bottle Depot Association—an award recognizing sustainable practices and environmental contributions.

The Aquarium’s UpStream Café is an environmentally conscious eatery that uses biodegradable and compostable dishes and utensils made from renewable resources—its plates, cups and cutlery are 100 per cent compostable. Furthermore, the organization refrains from using unsustainable packaging as part of its commitment to reducing its environmental impact.

All of these dishes and utensils are biodegradable, compostable and made from renewable resources.

The Vancouver Aquarium and UpStream Café are also home to Ocean Wise™, a conservation program that promotes ocean-friendly seafood options and works with partners to source sustainable seafood that is caught or farmed in a manner that ensures long-term health and stability of that species, as well as the greater marine ecosystem. Visitors to UpStream Café are presented with Ocean Wise menu options, empowering them with sustainable and delicious options that also help to save our oceans.

“We are honoured that our UpStream Café has been awarded the Terry Biggar distinction for sustainable practices and environmental contributions,” says Dr. John Nightingale, president and CEO of the Vancouver Aquarium. “In 2009, when we adopted our ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System, the Vancouver Aquarium made a pledge that our internal operations as well as our public engagement practices would be recognized as a living, working example of conservation, sustainability and green leadership. This recognition indicates that we’re on the right track.”

The Aquarium is committed to sustainable conservation practices. Onsite waste diversion programs encourage staff and visitors to reduce waste by composting and recycling. In 2010- 2011, the Aquarium successfully achieved an 84 per cent waste diversion rate.

“Thanks to our visitors and staff, we have increased the amount we recycle by 7 per cent and reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill by 3,273 kg over 2010. We have composted 48 per cent of our waste and we expect even greater conservation outcomes next year,” adds Dr. Nightingale.

The Vancouver Aquarium was the first aquarium in the world to receive both LEED Gold and ISO 14001 certifications and is one of the greenest civic institutions in Canada. The Aquarium’s facilities, such as the Marilyn Blusson Learning Centre, was constructed from more than 90 per cent of the former building’s concrete, steel, glass, and frames. It also incorporates innovative conservation practices including a rain water catchment system.

“The B.C. Bottle Depot Association is thrilled to present the Terry Biggar Award and recognize the sustainability program of the UpStream Café at the Vancouver Aquarium. The Aquarium has raised the bar on good environmental business practices through their compostable serving ware items and their Ocean Wise food offerings and we applaud their efforts,” said Corinne Atwood, executive director of the B.C. Bottle Depot Association. “This Terry Biggar Award is very special to the B.C. Bottle Depot Association and we congratulate the Vancouver Aquarium UpStream Café.”

The Terry Biggar award is named after the founder of the B.C. Bottle Depot Association to honor his efforts, hard work and commitment to recycling depot owners across B.C. The annual award is given to an individual or organization continuing to make positive environmental contributions.

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