26.08.2021 | Bioparc Valencia relies on 100% green electricity
Axpo Iberia recently began supplying a sustainable wildlife park in Spain with electricity certified to be generated 100% from renewable energies. Bioparc Valencia is committed to protecting endangered species and the environment, as well as the preservation of African wildlife. Now, thanks to an agreement with Axpo, it will be eliminating more than 580 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
Since 2008, gentle Congolese gorillas, majestic Serengeti lions, heavyweight hippos from sub-Saharan Africa and agile lemurs from the island state of Madagascar have been living in the midst of the Spanish metropolis of Valencia. They have found a refuge in the Bioparc, which covers an area of more than 100 square kilometres and was designed to closely resemble their native African habitats. The spacious wildlife park is home to 4,000 animals and divided into four large sections. Each replicates a different environment: the Central African forest, wet and dry savannahs, and the island habitat of Madagascar, all carefully reproduced using indigenous African vegetation.
At first glance, there are no visible barriers between the visitors' paths and the animal compounds. Similar to a safari, young and old visitors alike can enter the habitats of approximately 250 African species and learn first-hand the importance of protecting natural environments. In coming years, the entire facility will be expanded to include habitats for Asian and American animal species.
The facility’s Director Luis Angel Martinez explained: "The Bioparc is a new kind of wildlife park concept, where we want to heighten awareness of environmental preservation and the rich biodiversity of our planet." The primary aim is to change society's mindset and make visitors more conscious of sustainability issues.
Among the herds of antelope, zebra, giraffe, and rhino, surrounded by chimpanzees, water buffaloes and leopards; on the elephant trail leading to the legendary Kenyan Kitum cave; in the baobab forest and underwater with crocodiles and fish of every colour, visitors quickly come to appreciate the importance of preserving the unique diversity and beauty of our planet.
Since opening 13 years ago, the Bioparc has been making a sustainability contribution of its own, implementing energy efficiency measures by using solar panels, LED lighting and biomass boilers. Reducing the Bioparc’s consumption of precious resources such as water is also achieved by using the latest technologies such as time switchers, intelligent watering systems and special chemical-free water treatment.
Martinez and his team have also significantly reduced waste through recycling and compost produced from animal excrement and green waste. The Bioparc was also the first such facility to ban plastic tableware in its restaurant and replace it with biodegradable and compostable items.
To go a step further, the Bioparc recently began working closely with Axpo Iberia, one of the leading marketers of electricity from wind and solar plants in Spain and Portugal. The Axpo subsidiary supports large corporations and SMEs in implementing their sustainability strategies with, for example, long-term power purchase agreements for electricity from renewable sources.
Axpo Iberia Managing Director Ignacio Soneira explains: "Our strong commitment to supporting customers in the efficient use of energy, achieving significant energy savings and environmentally responsible energy consumption is in our DNA. We share our know-how because sustainability and environmental protection is just as important to us. So I am delighted that we are now working together with Bioparc Valencia. They have played a pioneering role in sustainability, building social awareness of the importance of protecting both the environment and endangered species."
Axpo Iberia supplies the wildlife park and its entire infrastructure with electricity generated 100% from renewable sources. The agreement means that Bioparc Valencia is also contributing to the de-carbonisation of the Spanish economy by reducing its own CO2 emissions. In practical terms, the facility will eliminate more than 580 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, the equivalent of about 12,000 return flights between Madrid and Valencia.
Luis Angel Martinez concludes: "Our guests, from small children to grandparents, understand what's important after visiting Bioparc Valencia. We all have a big responsibility to make a difference, and agreements like this one with Axpo Iberia are important steps towards a more sustainable world."