SOURCE: Denver Zoo

March 11, 2015 16:44 ET

Denver Zoo Is First Zoo in Western Hemisphere to Earn Prestigious Health and Safety Certification

Denver Zoo Is Only Fourth Zoo in the World to Achieve Both ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001 Certifications

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - March 11, 2015) - Denver Zoo is now one of only four zoological institutions in the world, and the first in the western hemisphere, to achieve the highest international distinction for its environmental, health and safety management systems. After an intensive, four-day audit in February, Denver Zoo was reaccredited with ISO 14001 certification and, for the first time, awarded the OHSAS 18001 certification. Both prestigious certifications commit the Zoo to the utmost level of sustainable practices and health and safety.

"We are extremely proud to be awarded these designations, which were earned by far exceeding the minimum standards of many national entities," says Denver Zoo Vice President for Design and Campus Management George Pond. "We constantly strive to improve ourselves in all aspects of our operations and hope this demonstrates how much we value the well-being of our employees, guests and volunteers by adopting international best practices."

Certification to the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 14001 Standard, which Denver Zoo was the first zoo to achieve for all its operations in 2009, is the highest international accreditation for recognizing a commitment to and adoption of best practices in environmental management. The comparable OHSAS (Occupation Health and Safety Assessment Series) 18001 is the highest international certification awarded for implementation of an occupational health and safety management system.

An external third-party auditor spent four days in February examining all of Denver Zoo's processes, operations and overall culture, interviewing staff and volunteers, reviewing internal audits, the efforts undertaken by the zoo's Safety Committee and closely inspecting all possible hazards and ways zoo staff actively mitigate them. The auditor left with no negative findings, allowing the Zoo to join the Beijing Zoo, Denmark's Aalborg Zoo and Singapore's Wildlife Reserves as the only other zoological institutions with both designations.

Denver Zoo's Safety and Sustainability team will continue to maintain a proactive stance towards health and safety in its commitment to OHSAS 18001 through continual improvement, setting targets for reducing accidents, monitoring, measuring and communicating its progress, exceeding its legal and other requirements, and motivating all employees, volunteers and contractors to work in a safe, healthy and responsible manner.

About Denver Zoo: Denver Zoo is the Rocky Mountain region's preeminent resource for informal scientific education, serving two million people annually. Home to 4,300 animals representing more than 600 species, the Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which assures the highest standards of animal care.

A leader in green action, Denver Zoo is the greenest zoo in the country and is dedicated to ensuring the safety of the environment in support of all species by attaining the highest environmental standards. Since 1996, Denver Zoo has participated in about 600 animal conservation projects in 62 countries on all seven continents.

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