Chester Zoo partners with Mitsubishi Electric 

Chester Zoo partners with Mitsubishi Electric 

Chester Zoo has announced a strategic partnership with heat pump manufacturer, Mitsubishi Electric, to decarbonise heating across its not-for-profit conservation zoo in Cheshire as part of its drive to reach net zero.  

The partnership, which was announced at a recent event by Mitsubishi Electric Ecodan brand ambassador George Clarke, will see Mitsubishi Electric’s experts work with the zoo’s facilities and design teams to keep animals – like Chester Zoo’s endangered Eastern Black Rhinos – warm. They will also provide heating, cooling and ventilation equipment in other buildings across the 128-acre site while reducing the charity’s carbon emissions.  

“Right now we’re facing a global biodiversity and climate crisis. The time for action is now. That’s why it’s vitally important that, as a conservation charity that’s working to prevent the extinction of species worldwide, we lift our focus on sustainability to new heights. We know that we can’t be part of the problem that we’re trying to solve, and that’s where partnerships on sustainability are so important; collaborating to showcase best practice and inspiring others to act,” explained Jennifer Kelly, Head of Sustainability at Chester Zoo.  

“Mitsubishi Electric is helping us understand the decarbonisation potential on buildings across on our site to help us meet our net zero targets. We’re proud to be leading the way on sustainability and inspiring others to do the same – the future of our planet depends on it.” 

Heat Pumps
The partnership was developed following two successful projects utilising Mitsubishi Electric equipment. The first involved air source heat pumps, air conditioning and ventilation installed in the zoo’s new conference and events venue, The Square. The second saw one of its rhino habitats, home to the critically endangered Eastern Black Rhinos, heated by six Ecodan air source heat pumps, which are manufactured in Scotland.    

“We need to keep our indoor rhino habitat temperatures between 18 and 24 degrees, but their home has big open doors, allowing the animals free movement to their outdoor habitat, which can lead to significant heat loss. The air source heat pump solution deployed shows the potential for heat pumps to be successful in challenging and unique environments.”   

George Clarke, TV presenter, architect and Mitsubishi Electric Ecodan brand ambassador, added: “I’ve been talking for years about the power and versatility of heat pumps for different living environments. The air source heat pumps deployed at Chester Zoo demonstrate what’s possible and show that if heat pumps can work in our rhino habitats, they can work in residential and wider settings too!”  

Commenting on the partnership, Chris Newman, Net Zero Design Manager at Mitsubishi Electric, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Chester Zoo as a key sustainability Partner, and we see so many synergies with their ethos, especially on the sustainability and educational fronts.  

“We’re working with the zoo’s facilities teams to reduce carbon emissions and deliver energy efficient comfort across a diverse range of buildings with internal climates from African savannahs to South American rainforests, which shows beyond doubt that there is a renewable solution that can help all of us get to net zero.”    

Chester Zoo was opened in 1931 and is one of the UK’s largest zoos. The 128-acre site in Chester, is home to more than 37,000 animals and more than 500 species.  

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