Beginning in 2016, RS&H developed a project-driven Sustainability Plan for White Oak Conservation Center (Center), a globally-recognized, 12,000-acre wildlife breeding and conservation facility for rhinoceroses, giraffes, okapis, cheetahs, and other imperiled species. RS&H conducted technical evaluations of the Center’s environmental concerns, infrastructure, and facilities, establishing an environmental and operational baseline for the Center. RS&H provided analysis and recommendations to ensure White Oak’s compliance with environmental regulations. We also developed a baseline inventory of municipal solid waste and hazardous materials generated by the Center to support pollution prevention (P2) goals, analyzed the economic and environmental considerations of source removal, recycling, and composting alternatives. We conducted surveys and assessments that led to cost-effective energy and water conservation opportunities for the client.
Our review of the Center’s operations allowed us to recommend sustainable alternatives to existing operations, processes, and procedures. The plan identified $1.1 million in sustainability-related savings from energy efficiency, efficient fleet management, water conservation, local food sourcing, green procurement, and natural resource conservation projects. RS&H conducted a series of workshops with Center staff to develop a sustainability vision, establish goals, and identify projects with environmental, social, and environmental benefits. The yearlong planning process built the capacity of the Center’s staff to develop and implement these and other sustainability projects. Following publication of the Plan, White Oak was named 2016 Green Business of the Year by the local Chamber of Commerce.