The Seattle Aquarium becomes a regional leader in sustainability impact
Visionary Goal: The Seattle Aquarium becomes a regional leader in sustainability impact.
The Aquarium is a nonprofit organization whose mission is Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, guided by its S.A.L.I.S.H. values. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to drive positive change in ocean health and communities most impacted by environmental damage through conservation education and community outreach programs, conservation research that informs decision making, ocean policy and advocacy initiatives, species conservation projects, and more.
Given the importance that the Seattle Aquarium places on influencing impact outside of its walls, it is clear that sustainability engagement cannot just stop with staff. Given the focus of this plan, the Aquarium has set a 2030 goal focused inwards but will continue to explore how to measure and impact sustainability engagement outwards.
Aquarium Conservation Partnership Climate Commitment
The Seattle Aquarium is supporting the Aquarium industry in moving towards net-zero. Details will be announced in April, 2022.
Partner with underserved communities to develop sustainability programming and initiative
The Seattle Aquarium can leverage existing relationships with community partners to create programming and sustainability initiatives.
Create internal and external communications plans, informed by several strategies below
Communication is essential to an engaged staff and public. Communications should be transparent about goals, budget, priorities and actions being taken.
Implement transparent budgeting around sustainability
Funding demonstrates the Seattle Aquarium’s commitment to being a sustainable organization. Being transparent about how sustainability influences the budget will be tantamount to success.
Set departmental goals and identify strategies
Team or departmental goals help to connect staff to the Aquarium’s goals by creating relatable and achievable milestones. Some staff will be better connected to different goal areas. Encouraging staff to commit to areas in which they can make the greatest impact will generate an engaged staff.
Create an internal staff-to-staff recognition and reward system
The Seattle Aquarium should create a system where staff can recognize and reward others who are making a difference. Rewards can be small (e.g., a gift card to the café) but meaningful to those who receive them.
Identify a governance structure
Carrying forward this plan from planning to implementation requires, among other factors, staff capacity. Creating an engaged and healthy structure will enable this plan to succeed.
Identify a point person for sustainability
The Seattle Aquarium needs to decide who will be responsible for implementing the plan. This person doesn’t need to do everything but they need to be responsible for process and outcomes.
Improve staff and contractor orientation around sustainability
Educating staff and contractors about the Seattle Aquarium’s sustainability goals during orientation will ensure that these goals are institutionalized and their importance understood by new staff.
Tell our sustainability story
An exhibit that tells the story of the Seattle Aquarium’s waste successes and connects these successes to the Aquarium’s mission will build public awareness of ways to act more sustainably.
Improve connections to sustainability on current signage
The Seattle Aquarium can elevate sustainability by making direct connections to conservation efforts, biology and sustainability. Doing so will help engage the public around the importance of these efforts.