DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s easy being green at the Detroit Zoo, which is being recognized for its environmental efforts.

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) this week received an award for Economic Leadership in Energy Efficiency from the Pure Michigan/Energy Office and Energy Services Coalition – Michigan Chapter. The award was given in recognition of the DZS’s energy efficiency improvement project at the Detroit Zoo, according to a news release.

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“We are grateful for the recognition of our commitment to environmental leadership and progressive resource management,” said Ron Kagan, DZS Executive Director and CEO, in a statement. “The energy and resource efficiencies realized through this project represent another big step on our green journey.”

The $2 million project promises to save the Zoo nearly $275,000 in annual utility costs, according to Kagan. The DZS’s performance contract with Johnson Controls, Inc. provides a guaranteed payback of its investment within seven years through savings of energy usage and related operational expenses.

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The energy efficiency upgrades span more than 50 Detroit Zoo buildings and include installation of additional utility meters and low-flow toilets as well as rooftop unit upgrades and boiler control upgrades. An automated building management system allows the Zoo to monitor the HVAC systems of multiple buildings from one location and make adjustments in real time based on actual conditions.

The project is all part of the DZS’s “Greenprint” — which Zoo officials describe as a plan to refine and improve daily practices and facilities, develop new policies and programs and improve green literacy in the community.

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To learn more about the project and other green initiatives, visit this link.