Royal seal of approval for Marwell

Her Majesty the Queen has given the royal seal of approval to Marwell Wildlife’s environmental commitments with a coveted award.

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development will be presented to Marwell at a reception hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in July.

Marwell Wildlife is a conservation charity established in 1972 which owns and operates Marwell Zoo in Hampshire, a centre for enjoyment of nature, learning, sustainability and scientific endeavour and which funds charitable delivery around the world. The award recognises the charity’s achievements in biodiversity conservation, education and sustainability and highlights successes in reintroducing the extinct scimitar-horned oryx to its natural range in Tunisia solely from captive bred stock as well as its unique Energy for Life: Tropical House, which processes zoo animal waste for conversion into carbon neutral heat to power buildings around the 140 acre wildlife park.

The award citation reads: “Marwell reintroduces populations of species that have become locally or globally extinct in the wild, intervenes to improve the fortunes of plants and animals that are otherwise declining in nature and restores ecosystems.

“In Tunisia it worked with the authorities to successfully reintroduce the scimitar-horned oryx. There are now over 200 oryx living in four protected areas. The straw and dung heating plant installed in 2021 saves energy and disposal costs and is unique in the UK.

Scimitar-horned oryx

“Marwell Wildlife is awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development because it shows clear leadership in the sector and for its sustainability culture which runs through the organisation.”

Announced on The Queen’s Birthday, the award programme is the most prestigious in the world, recognising and encouraging outstanding achievements. The Sustainable Development category recognises leaders in the field who place sustainability at the heart of their organisation.

Over the last two decades, Marwell developed a new strategy recognising that the future for threatened species is inextricably linked to tackling the wider biodiversity crisis, climate change and other environmental and social issues.

Marwell’s Director of Conservation, Dr Tim Woodfine, said: “It is with enormous pride that we have been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen during her Platinum Jubilee year for our holistic contributions to biodiversity conservation, education and sustainability as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. We see this award as recognition of everything that has been achieved by our conservation charity, including outcomes that are of global significance or unique for our sector.

“In practice, we take action to improve the fortunes of plants and animals that are otherwise declining in nature, undertake work to restore healthy ecosystems, promote sustainable living and work with individuals, communities and governments to bring about positive changes for society and the natural world.

“We can’t do all this alone; conservation is all about collaboration and working together to bring about a better environment. We’re fortunate to have a long list of valued partners in the UK and internationally who share in our successes.”

Head of Sustainability at Marwell Wildlife, Dr Duncan East, added: “We started measuring our carbon footprint in 2008 and have succeeded in reducing emissions by 77% through genuine improvements in our operations and renewable energy generation rather than relying on offsetting. With new initiatives in the pipeline, we expect to achieve our zero-carbon goal in the coming months. Our ethical sourcing policy and practices have also been an important part of our organisation-wide culture, as we try to have positive social and environmental impacts across all aspects of or work, including how we influence our supply chain”.

To read Marwell Wildlife’s latest Impact Reports, go to: Impact Reports – Marwell Zoo