As a conservation centre, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre believes in walking the talk. To that end, we’re proud to share that we have been awarded re-certification of our ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. ISO 14001 is an international standard for environmental management; laying out criteria for effectively measuring environmental impacts and driving continuous improvement.
While the re-certification audit itself is conducted over a two day period with auditors from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, our environmental management processes are conducted and are documented throughout the year. Jake Clemens, manager of sustainability at the Aquarium joined the team last year and managed the re-certification process. He says, “It was great to come onboard with an organization that is so committed to meeting these rigorous standards. Having a site environmental management team with passionate representatives from all facets of our operations is what really drives the success of the program.”
The various aspects of our operation are represented by seven environmental management program areas; chemical management, sustainable purchasing, waste management, fresh water conservation, energy management, species conservation and environmental education.
This structure allows our program not only to monitor and control the energy we consume, the resources we use, the purchasing decisions we make and our waste divergence performance, but to also track the great benefits and participants reached by our conservation and education programs.
“While undertaking this audit requires months of preparation, the multi-disciplinary team in place ensures that nothing gets overlooked,” says Cathy Imrie, senior vice president and chief financial officer who represents the executive group on the environmental management team. “We adopted this structured approach of environmental management to support the Aquarium’s mission as a conservation organization, ensuring our employees, our volunteers and those who work on our behalf are committed to managing the environmental impacts of our operations.”
So on your next visit to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, know that we put in a lot of effort to be a model organization of environmental management. As you make your way to the ticket counter, you’ll walk by indigenous, drought tolerant plant species, receiving irrigation from rainwater collected from the roof. As you enter the facility and feel the cool air, know that some of that cooling has come right from the Burrard Inlet through our salt water heat exchangers, reducing electricity consumption. When visiting the café for lunch, you can feel good composting the plate that came with your Ocean Wise™ sandwich. These are just a few of the ways we are committed to ensuring a sustainable experience for our guests.
Learn more about our Environmental Management System and our Green Building online.