The Two Oceans Aquarium has been awarded the prestigious Diamond status by the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme. This classification is awarded to participants in the Heritage Programme who have maintained Platinum status for five consecutive years and have shown continued improvement in their sustainability efforts. There are currently only two other Diamond status properties in South Africa – the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway (2015) and Tsogo Sun’s Drakensberg Sun Resort (2013).
“I am extremely proud of the Two Oceans team that has made this a reality and in particular the handful of people who drive our sustainability programmes daily. We are on a sustainability journey and this award is affirmation that we are on the right track, not that we have reached the end. We still have a long way to go! Our success so far is a result of dedicated staff, with an eagerness to reduce our footprint, and a partnership with Heritage, which requires constant improvements in all areas of our operation. Constant improvement is achieved through accurate measurement and reporting, goal setting, and planning – therein lies the benefit of external auditing and partnering with Heritage. There is just no time to sit back and polish our diamond,” said Two Oceans Aquarium CEO Michael Farquhar.
The Two Oceans Aquarium aims to raise awareness of environmental issues and promote conservation. This is in line with its vision of abundant and healthy oceans and its mission to inspire support for their future wellbeing. It is therefore imperative that the Aquarium leads by example, and actively strives to reduce the impact of its operations on the environment.
Through its environmental charter, which includes aspects of legislation, resource usage and communication, the Aquarium clearly outlines its sustainability goals.
“Sustainability in the Aquarium is a team effort and our achievements to date are as a result of an increasing awareness among our staff, volunteers, suppliers and partners as well as a commitment to environmentally-responsible practices as far reaching as possible. While we have much still to do on our journey it has been extremely gratifying and inspiring to see the shift in people’s attitudes and behaviour over the years and to see sustainability move from being on the fringe of the business to now being a core focus area,” said Two Oceans Aquarium Communications & Sustainability Manager Helen Lockhart.
The Aquarium joined the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme in 2007, on Silver status. Year-on-year improvements saw the Aquarium rise through the ranks and achieving Platinum status in 2011. The Aquarium has maintained this status since, and through continued efforts and improvement to its sustainability practices, has therefore qualified for Diamond status.
“Achieving Diamond status in the Heritage Programme is validation of the continual efforts of the team at the Two Oceans Aquarium and their commitment to maintaining world-class standards of sustainability across their operations. We are extremely proud of what has been achieved and we are confident that the team will continue to set high standards in the coming years,” said Heritage Environmental Management Company Director Greg McManus.
The Heritage Environmental Management Company was first established in 2001 as an environmental rating initiative for the hospitality industry in South Africa. Since then, the company has expanded its certification categories and product range to provide certification solutions to all facets of the service industry including hotels and accommodation; game lodges and resorts; zoos and aquaria; meetings and events; golf courses; residential estates, banking, retail businesses and business services. Heritage is currently being applied by over 150 businesses across eight African countries and is recognised as the leading certification brand in Africa.
For further information about the Two Oceans Aquarium’s sustainability journey, please have a look at this link.