It may all seem like monkey business but keeping the animals at London Zoo happy and healthy requires a serious amount of energy.
Which is why they are the first company to take part in a new programme rewarding companies for training their staff to become more energy efficient.
Today the zoo hosted the launch of the new LEC certification scheme in a hot, humid recreation of a Brazilian rainforest.
Peter Smith, Energy Manager for the Zoological Society of London told ELN how the scheme helped them reduce energy use: “It’s engaged staff, it’s begun to get them to think and to challenge: Why are we doing things like that? Are there other ways we can do it?”
Last year the park spent around £850,000 on gas and electricity to create the array of different environments it needs for its various species.
Mr Smith added: “Keepers in the animal houses can raise questions about specific environments for the different species of animal. It’s getting them to think and engage and the LEC training has been successful in that.”
Organisations that follow the lead of London Zoo will be audited and awarded the LEC status by Low Energy UK, with the Energy Managers Association (EMA) setting the training curriculum and the Carbon Management Association (CMA) approving and logging courses that meet the specifications.
The courses can be run by anyone as long as they meet the EMA’s standards. It means the training won’t be exactly the same for everybody and can be adapted to suit specific needs, according to the group’s founder Lord Redesdale.
For a company to gain LEC status a certain percentage of staff must complete an energy management course, which adheres to the EMA’s Level 1 standard or higher. The exact percentage required will be set by individual industries.
There are ambitious plans for the programme: the EMA hopes the certification will become ubiquitous and is aiming to have millions of staff trained within just a few years.