Sustainability is extremely important to Georgia Aquarium, and we’re proud to continue implementing sustainable efforts with the help of a $380,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. This grant will help establish a Green Revolving Fund. We will be matching the grant for a total of $760,000, which allows the fund to provide us the ability to implement projects that improve the Aquarium’s sustainability efforts while also reducing overall energy costs.
The first upcoming projects include improving the efficiency, also known as retrocommissioning, our HVAC system and the installation of LED lighting. Improving the efficiency of the HVAC system will save a significant amount each year in HVAC costs. The LED lighting installations and upgrades will also positively impact our electricity savings each year.
These upcoming projects are not the only sustainable efforts we make. Roughly 99.5% of all exhibit water used at Georgia Aquarium is recycled. We have six salt-water recovery systems, which allow the Georgia Aquarium Life Support Systems team to reclaim and recycle water used in our exhibits. We also have ten Elkay ezH20® bottle filling stations installed throughout the entire Aquarium. Implementing these water stations reduces the usage of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles that are harmful to the environment. As a result, 85,736 plastic bottles have been saved from landfills within our facility alone!
The elimination of single use plastics is also crucial in preserving our environment. Since 2005, we’ve pledged to be plastic straw free to reduce the waste of single use plastics and do our part to keep the ocean clean. We also recycle approximately 21 tons of solid waste from our operations each year, most of which is plastic.
As one of the world’s largest aquariums, we have the responsibility of preserving our world ocean and protecting the many species that inhabit them. Through the high standard of our sustainability efforts, we hope to make an impact on improving sustainability for other facilities and generations to come.