SEAWORLD CARES & LEADS THE WAY IN SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
Water conservation, composting and elimination of plastic bags are just a few examples of environmental stewardship
SeaWorld® San Diego has been a global leader in marine animal care and welfare, education, conservation, research and rescue for more than five decades. While guests enjoy all of the world-class animal shows, exhibits and education programs at SeaWorld, behind the scenes there is a mission—one that has continued since the park’s inception—to care for the environment and the animals that extends beyond the park’s borders. SeaWorld continues to embrace initiatives that address today’s most pressing environmental challenges in the areas of waste, water and food.
Waste reduction strategies are constantly reevaluated looking for opportunities to reduce or eliminate waste. In 2011, SeaWorld eliminated the use of plastic bags in the park’s gift shops. SeaWorld also eliminated all polystyrene tableware and flatware in its restaurants in 2013. In all, more than 8 million individual pieces of tableware and cutlery were shifted to more ecofriendly and sustainable materials. The installation of hand dryers has reduced paper towel waste by almost 65% since 2013. This represents a reduction of approximately 8.8 million square feet of paper or about 50,000 pounds. Lastly, the use of “right sized” trash can liners resulted in reducing plastic used by about 20,000 pounds since 2013.
Since 2008, SeaWorld has engaged in a variety of water savings approaches in the park to meet state and local water reduction targets. In 2015, SeaWorld implemented a saltwater flushing system in its newest restroom replacement located near Shamu Stadium. The conversion has resulted in over 1.5 million gallons of water saved annually. In addition, the park purchased pathway concrete deep cleaning devices which reuse water, saving more than one million gallons of water annually. Other water saving strategies includes installation of more drought-tolerant plants, computerized irrigation controllers and low-flow nozzles, mulching landscaped areas conserving soil moisture, and replacing some lawn areas with artificial turf.
As for energy conservation, SeaWorld installed four electric vehicle charging stations for guests to use for free, encouraging the use of energy efficient vehicles. SeaWorld has undergone major retrofits over the last few years to replace most lighting fixtures within the park, back offices and parking lot with LED or other energy saving bulbs.
Pre-consumer food scrap recycling continues to be one of the greatest success stories of SeaWorld’s conservation efforts. Collecting an average of one ton of food waste a day and sending that to the local greenery for composting keeps that material out of the landfill and is redistributed as nutrient rich soil for San Diego residents.
Since 1996 the park has received San Diego’s Recycler of the Year or Director’s award 19 times and is a nine-time recipient of the prestigious State of California Waste Reduction Awards program.