September 16, 2009
Aquarium was recognized for minimizing its carbon footprint
September 17, 2009—Today the Aquarium of the Pacific was recognized in Washington, DC with a Super Nova Star Award as the most energy efficient business with annual revenues under $150 million. It won for its investment in energy and climate conservation practices, serving as a leader in educating the community about sustainable activities, and embracing energy efficient technologies. The Alliance to Save Energy promotes energy efficiency worldwide to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment, and greater energy security. Each year the Alliance to Save Energy (http://www.ase.org) recognizes companies, learning institutions, state offices, and government programs for their efforts to promote energy efficiency domestically and/or overseas with Star of Energy Efficiency Awards. Other category winners included 3M Corporation, HUD, and the state of Massachusetts.
Effectively implementing numerous approaches to minimizing energy loss, the Aquarium has had no net increase of kilowatt usage despite a consistent increase in visitors for eight consecutive years. Efficient lighting systems, co-generation, insulating life support systems, high efficiency pool pumps, and leading-edge operating procedures were adopted to comply with ongoing energy initiatives.
In 2008 the Aquarium inaugurated a new environmental classroom, the City of Long Beach’s first LEED-platinum certified building. The classroom uses solar power, a green roof, and a rainwater capture system among other energy and water efficiencies. The Aquarium is committed to achieving LEED platinum or gold certification for all future projects. The Aquarium became the first among museums, zoos, and aquariums in the United States to certify its greenhouse gas emissions with a third-party registry. This led it to become a Climate Action Leader with the Climate Action Registry in 2007.
The Aquarium was also recognized for its Green Team task force that organizes environmentally friendly activities such as the annual street cleanup, hosting the Earth Day festival, and encouraging “1% solutions” in as many of its business practices as possible. As the Aquarium continues to grow, one of the underlying objectives of the master plan is to increase attendance by expanding the facility’s capacity without increasing energy and potable water usage. The Aquarium intends to continue to grow without increasing its usage of the electricity “grid.”