Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The Seattle Aquarium’s commitment to operational sustainability is rooted in four fundamentals:

  • Our mission, Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment;
  • Our leadership in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) to prompt all members to have an operational sustainability plan;
  • Committing to wise green practices that can reduce our utility expenses over time; and
  • Sharing conservation practices that can be implemented at home by our visitors and community.

Green awards 2014

The Seattle Aquarium received two awards for sustainable operations in October 2014. The first was the 2014 “Visionary Leadership Award” presented by the Seattle 2030 District, which recognized the Aquarium for energy-efficient retrofits, carbon capture through tree planting, and an array of solar panels constructed on its Pier 59 facility (among the largest on an aquarium in the country). The second was a “Community Impact Award” from the Seattle Business magazine. These awards, inaugurated in 2014, honor “the region’s most influential community leaders” and celebrate honorees in categories ranging from sustainability to youth development. The Aquarium received a silver award in the “Sustainability in Business Operations” category.

Seattle Aquarium solar array panels

Community Solar project in partnership with Seattle City Light

In partnership with Seattle City Light, the Seattle Aquarium completed installation of a 49-kilowatt-hour photovoltaic array on the roof of Pier 59 in the summer of 2013. The array became operational in December of that year.

Sustainable Seafood

Sustainable Seafood

The Seattle Aquarium is part of a program to make it easier for consumers to tell whether the seafood they're buying is helping or hurting the survival of ocean wildlife. LEARN MORE>

Puget Sound

Ocean acidification and carbon footprint

When it comes to conservation at the Seattle Aquarium and changing ocean conditions, it’s important to practice what we preach. Sustainable practices and sustainable ecosystems go hand in hand. We are increasing operational efficiencies to reach our goal of cutting our carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2020.

Seattle Aquarium hot water solar panels

Other sustainability efforts

The Seattle Aquarium participates in many sustainability efforts. These efforts include composting and recycling, using solar hot water and installing energy efficient upgrades. LEARN MORE>