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World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

  • Date: 13 September 2018
  • Author: Steve Easterbrook, CEO, McDonald's and Carter Roberts, President & CEO, World Wildlife Fund

With each passing day, the world awakens to growing evidence that investing in sustainable business practices, clean energy and climate-smart agriculture isn’t just best for the planet – it’s good for companies and consumers.

This week, the Global Climate Action Summit – the first-ever global summit focused on non-federal climate leadership – kicks off in San Francisco. The Summit will bring business leaders together with mayors, governors and others from across the globe to share knowledge and chart a new path for climate ambition.

For businesses, this means committing to ambitious climate targets and crafting concrete plans to meet them. Earlier this year McDonald’s became the first global restaurant company to adopt a science-based climate target, which aims to prevent an estimated 150 million metric tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere by 2030. Science based targets help companies identify how much and how quickly they need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to align with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping the increase in average global temperatures below 2° Celsius (3.56° Fahrenheit). More than 125 companies have already adopted them, and more than 335 have committed to do so. But many more have yet to sign on.

The world’s largest companies can help lead the way. By becoming early adopters, they can help shift entire industries toward more sustainable practices and drive results on a scale that matters. 

McDonalds letter

As printed in the San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 13 2018

Of course, setting targets is one thing. Meeting them is another. Strategies to meet climate targets will vary from sector to sector, but two in particular present exciting opportunities: shifting to renewable energy sources and adopting smarter land-use policies.

Large companies can leverage their collective buying power to directly purchase renewable energy to power their operations. Or, if they purchase electricity through a local utility, they can demand that their utility offer more renewable energy options. For example, there are over 20 special utility renewable energy options across 15 states, with large companies playing a big role in helping develop many of them. By driving a transformation of the electricity system, companies can help promote and scale renewable energy sources, all while reaping considerable savings and growing jobs.

How companies and their suppliers use land presents an effective and relatively untapped solution to climate change. From global food production and consumption, to forest management and infrastructure development, these practices produce 12 billion tons of emissions globally each year – greater than the emissions from cars, planes, trains, trucks and ships combined. But a new approach to land use that focuses on long term sustainability and growth instead of immediate, short-term returns can achieve 30 percent of the emissions reductions needed to fulfill the Paris Agreement. For example, companies can promote climate-friendly agricultural practices like cover crops and no-till farming. And they can help address supply chain impacts on deforestation.

Hundreds of companies like McDonald’s – along with the cities, states, regions and countries where they operate – have already begun to implement these solutions, and many others. More than 3,000 of these climate leaders have committed to helping America, and beyond, fulfill its pledges under the Paris Agreement as part of the We Are Still In coalition. Collectively, we represent half of American citizens and about half of the country’s total economic output.

The Global Climate Action Summit provides business leaders and others with the opportunity to learn from one another and commit to more aggressive goals. We urge business leaders around the world to join the move toward science-based climate targets, and to embrace renewable energy and land use solutions that will help them meet those targets. Together, we can strengthen our environment and foster a safe, sustainable planet for future generations. 

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This was originally published as an open letter in the San Francisco Chronicle.

  • Date: 13 September 2018
  • Author: Sam Arons, Director of Sustainability at Lyft

Since 2017, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has been part of Lyft’s Round Up & Donate program, which gives Lyft riders the option to round up their fare to the next dollar and donate the difference to WWF.

This year, Lyft’s been working to reduce its carbon footprint. As the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) takes place in San Francisco this week, WWF caught up with Lyft’s Director of Sustainability, Sam Arons, to learn more about the company’s commitments.

Sam Arons blue

Why does Lyft care about its environmental impact and making climate commitments?

Lyft was founded on the belief that technology will enable us to dramatically reduce carbon emissions from the transportation system while improving quality of life and access to opportunity for all Americans. We’re more determined now than ever before to make that vision a reality. We now give more than 10 million rides a week - and as we continue to grow, we have a greater responsibility to dedicate material resources to our vision and values.

In the future, all vehicles will be electric and operate using clean electricity. But climate change is not waiting. It’s happening now, and it presents a clear and immediate threat to our world and those who live in it. Action cannot wait. That's why we took the important steps to immediately offset the carbon emissions from all rides globally - and earlier this week, we announced that Lyft is now a fully carbon neutral company. We have also committed to purchase enough renewable energy to cover the electricity consumption of every Lyft office space, driver hub, and electric vehicle mile on our platform.

These actions are not the full solution, but an important step forward. By committing significant financial resources to these efforts, we’re building into our business a strong incentive to pursue shared rides and the displacement of gasoline-powered vehicles. The more shared rides and clean vehicles on the platform, the fewer carbon offsets we will need to purchase.

As a company whose business model relies on cars, what steps are you taking to reduce emissions?

Back in April, just before Earth Day, Lyft announced that we would be offsetting the carbon emissions from our rides And this week for GCAS, we’ve doubled down on that commitment by announcing that Lyft is now a fully carbon neutral company, and that we’re covering 100% of our electricity consumption, including EV charging, with renewable energy.  What we’ve effectively done is imposed a carbon price on ourselves as a way to drive CO2 out of our business. We’re excited about this for a few reasons. First of all, we think it’s important to take responsibility for our environmental impact, and this was a way to step up and do that right away.

How do you plan to achieve your carbon offset commitment?

When we started this project, we obtained a partner to help us build a portfolio of offset projects that would be in the right places and volumes to offset all ride emissions. These offset projects were selected after rigorous vetting. That’s how we kicked off the project. Since the announcement and selecting the projects, we have been buying the offsets on an ongoing basis to cover the emissions as they occur.

Do you work with others across industry? If so, what steps are you taking to drive the industry forward?

“We’re already starting to have the conversations that will bring a whole ecosystem of different players together to achieve this electrified future.”

Sam Arons
Director of Sustainability at Lyft

Lyft is part of several different industries, two major ones being the transportation industry and the tech industry. It’s important to us to work across both, and with our colleagues in local and state governments. One area where this will be particularly important is with electric vehicles. EVs will be a very important piece in the future of our sustainability program at Lyft. At the end of the day, it’s good to be offsetting carbon emissions, and we’re very proud that we’re doing that, but that can’t be the ultimate answer. We need to eliminate emissions to begin with rather than emit and then have to offset. To do that, we’ll need all our rides to be in electric vehicles that are charged from renewable energy to have no emissions at all. Achieving this will require working with auto manufacturers who will be the ones to create more models of vehicles that have sufficient range for a ride-sharing application – about 200 miles at a minimum. We’ll also work with electric utilities who will provide the grid infrastructure that can support more charging stations, and with third-party charging providers to get those stations deployed. And we’ll need to work with state and local governments on permitting and placement of charging stations. We’re already starting to have the conversations that will bring a whole ecosystem of different players together to achieve this electrified future.
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The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of WWF.

  • Date: 12 September 2018
  • Author: Sophie Beckham, Senior Manager of Natural Capital Stewardship at International Paper
5D1 4269

I’m neck deep in a big BIG project – leading the development of the next generation of sustainability goals that will help International Paper achieve our vision: to be among the most successful, sustainable and responsible companies in the world. It’s both exciting and overwhelming, and sometimes I need a break just to regain perspective. My go-to activity is to head out for a run on the Mountains-to-Sea trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway near my office. Running through some of the most biologically diverse forest ecosystems in the world does wonders for me both mentally and physically. And being in that environment helps me consider the future of forests and the role my company plays in securing it. 

People around the world rely on forests to survive and thrive. That includes the people at International Paper. As one of the largest pulp, paper and packaging producers, International Paper’s entire business depends upon the sustainability of forests. It is in our best interest to invest in the long-term sustainability of natural resources and to advance actions that ensure forests everywhere are sustained at levels well above their ecological tipping points (the point at which forests can no longer provide us with the services that people, animals, and the environment need).

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) shares this vision, and in June 2018, WWF and IP launched a project that will help identify what quantity and quality of forest land is needed both globally and regionally to ensure forests provide people, plants and animals with the clean air and water, food, and other services they need to thrive. What’s unique about this project is that it will advance the concept of science-based targets for forests.

Science-based targets will help inform the first comprehensive list of actions that companies, governments, NGOs and others can take together and individually—inside and outside current supply chain needs—to sustain forests and keep them well above their ecological tipping points. These “forest positive” actions could include investing in responsible forest management, restoring forests, supporting jurisdictional approaches to forest conservation, and engaging with policy-makers and consumers on forest-related issues.

The project asks three key questions:

  • What quantity and quality of forests will we need to maintain healthy, productive forests for people and nature?
  • What role will governments, companies and others need to play to realize this future?
  • What kind of strategic actions and partnerships will it take to be successful?

We are excited to build on our participation in WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network program through this significant and strategic initiative to develop the world's first regional and global science-based targets for forests, as well as the first comprehensive set of guidance on forest positive actions. We invite others to join us in the process.

As I run along my local forest trails, I am optimistic that others around the world, for generations to come, will also be able to enjoy all that their local forests have to offer, thanks in part to the collaborative efforts of International Paper and WWF.

  • Date: 10 September 2018
  • Author: Martha Stevenson and Linda Walker of WWF's Forest Team

Walmart’s Project Gigaton is a supplier-focused initiative to prevent one gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions across their global supply chain over 15 years (2015-2030). Project Gigaton aims to inspire suppliers to reduce emissions across their own operations and supply chains.

There are six pillars of Project Gigaton through which suppliers can reduce emissions: energy, agriculture, forests, packaging, waste, and product use. World Wildlife Fund works with Walmart on several of these pillars to help suppliers reach their targets. In this blog, Martha Stevenson, Director of Forest Strategy and Research, and Linda Walker, Director of Responsible Forestry and Trade, share why the forests pillar is so important to Project Gigaton.

What’s the connection between forests, corporate supply chains, and GHG emissions? 

Forests can be both a source and a sink of GHG emissions in a company’s supply chain.

Globally, land use change contributes 12 percent of emissions.  Much of that comes from deforestation, driven largely by forest clearing and subsequent burning to expand agricultural production, particularly in tropical regions to produce commodities like beef, soy, palm oil and pulp.

Forest degradation is another source of emissions, which occur largely from illegal or unsustainable forest management practices, including things like “high-grading” (cutting only the highest value trees of a few species) and careless harvesting, which can damage soils and streams. These practices degrade the forests’ ability to provide water filtration, wildlife habitat and carbon storage.  

Forests also sequester carbon emissions – meaning they suck carbon back out of the atmosphere as they grow and store it in the trees. In fact, trees are one of the best large scale “technologies” that can do this in the world today. Project Gigaton includes opportunities for companies to support forest restoration and harness tree regrowth for climate benefits. Healthy forests not only absorb carbon and help slow climate change, but they also provide for the livelihoods of the 1.6 billion people who depend on them every day.

If a supplier has already set an emissions reduction goal what is the value of joining Project Gigaton?

We are entering a phase of collaboration in the forest, food and land sector that is essential to moving the needle on land sector emissions reductions. There are hundreds of companies who have goals to avoid deforestation and forest degradation and who are working in and across their supply chains to achieve those goals – but they are hitting barriers. By joining Project Gigaton, suppliers will obtain support in accomplishing their land sector avoided deforestation and climate goals. The corporate sector can be incredibly powerful in making change – particularly when working together with governments, local interest groups and local producers in forested landscapes. For companies who have not yet been active in climate conversations but have been watching and wanting to get involved, joining Project Gigaton is an opportunity to dive in and test out some new approaches in projects like restoration initiatives.

What support do companies get from Project Gigaton?

When companies join Project Gigaton, they are provided access to resources that can help companies advance their goals – from linking up with certified products to finding new verification and validation tools. Companies are also able to tap into collective efforts we’re calling landscape and jurisdictional approaches – where they can work together in a landscape to help advance goals to stop deforestation or support restoration projects together with governments and local groups. Within Project Gigaton there are built-in supports and pre-vetted opportunities, so companies don’t have to go out and start those relationships on their own.

If a supplier is considering joining and making a commitment under the energy pillar, should they also be considering the other pillars? What’s the value in signing up across the platform?

What pillars a company joins through Project Gigaton really depends on what type of company it is and where emissions occur in the supply chain. For example, for a food, forest or land-intensive supply chain, companies should look at the agricultural, forest, and waste pillars. But most importantly, companies sign up in the places that are meaningful for them and get the tools and resources they need to succeed.

Who's an example of a supplier that is really leading the way on forests?

Companies who publish strong sourcing policies and goals, report transparently on progress, engage collaboratively with suppliers on solutions and seek opportunities to protect or restore forested landscapes outside of near-term supply chain needs, are leading the way.  Kimberly-Clark, who manufactures brands like Kleenex and Cottonelle, is an excellent example, including through an innovative campaign to engage consumers about responsible forestry and its support for long-term protection of working forests in the Southeastern US.

You can join Project Gigaton by submitting your own emissions target, or by submitting goals that fall in one or more of the six pillars. Links to join can be found at: www.walmartsustainabilityhub.com/project-gigaton

  • Date: 07 August 2018
  • Author: Wendy Goyert, Lead Specialist, Latin America Fisheries in Transition

On August 7, 2018, The Bahamas’ spiny lobster fishery became the first Caribbean fishery to earn certification from the Marine Stewardship Council, the leading global standard for wild-caught seafood environmental performance.

Since 2009, World Wildlife Fund and The Nature Conservancy have collaborated with The Bahamas Marine Exporters Association, Bahamas Department of Marine Resources and fishermen to ensure the health of the spiny lobster stock, reduce the impact of fishing on the marine environment, and improve the overall management of the fishery.

With the certification, the lobster tails are now eligible to carry the MSC blue fish label, recognized by many consumers as a mark of products sourced with higher environmental standards.

To achieve certification, The Bahamas lobster fishery has been engaged in a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP), which provides a step-by-step approach to bring fishery management practices up to the MSC standard, which WWF suggests should be regarded as the minimum standard for environmental performance. Large seafood companies often provide critical support for FIPs by leveraging their buying power to boost FIP participation among fishermen and exporters, by engaging local government agencies to improve policy, and by providing financial support. Many large companies provided such support in The Bahamas, namely Costco Wholesale, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Corporation, The Kroger Co., SUPERVALU Inc., and Tequesta Bay Foods, Inc.

“FIPs are a really good tool to get fisheries to MSC certification. It lays out a series of steps with definable goals and a timetable,” said Bill Mardon, seafood buyer for Costco. “And there is a reward at the end of the line: fisheries that can produce for many years to come.”

With support from U.S. companies like Costco and Tequesta Bay, the FIP achieved several important goals to earn the MSC certification, including:

  • Conducting a peer-reviewed stock assessment and establishing a data collection and management system to monitor the health of the lobster stock;
  • Establishing a public forum for stakeholders to participate in the management of the lobster fishery;
  • Instituting a zero-tolerance policy for undersized lobster for The Bahamas Marine Exporters Association;
  • Analyzing the monitoring and control of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing to ensure that the level of deterrence is appropriate for the fishery’s value; and
  • Developing a lobster harvest strategy, a fishery management plan, and procedures to review the performance of the lobster fishery management.

“In order for us to have a healthy business model, we need healthy fisheries,” added Rafael Bru, president of Tequesta Bay Foods. “It’s sound business.”

Spiny lobster is an important commercial species in The Bahamas. The $90 million Bahamian lobster industry employs about 9,000 fishers who cover a massive 45,000 square miles of ocean. More than 6 million pounds of spiny lobster tails are sold commercially each year. Capped at 5 million pounds, exports go primarily to the United States and Europe.

“We eagerly accept the MSC stamp of approval,” said Mia Isaacs, president of The Bahamas Marine Exporters Association. “It's been a collaborative effort and we are thankful to all the stakeholders, especially the fishermen. As we continually improve our spiny lobster fishery, we aim for product of The Bahamas to become synonymous with strength, collaboration and sustainability. MSC certification is a proud accomplishment. Congratulations, Bahamas! We did it!”

 

 

  • Date: 18 June 2018

Monarch butterflies embark on a marvelous migratory journey. Annually, they travel nearly 3,000 miles from the United States and Canada to their hibernation grounds in Mexico. These travelers arrive at the beginning of November and stay for five months at the Oyamel Fir forest of central Mexico before they migrate back North. Sadly, each year fewer monarchs make that journey as their population has drastically decreased due to climate change and depletion of milkweed along their migratory route, which is the only plant where monarch butterflies lay their eggs. 

 The latest survey of the monarch’s winter habitat in Mexico is a stark reminder that this species is in need of protection. The number of monarch butterflies that spent the winter in forests in Mexico fell for a second straight year, according to the survey conducted every winter at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. 

 WWF and our partners on the ground in Mexico are working to reverse this trend. Together, we are committed to protecting vital monarch butterfly habitat by countering illegal logging efforts, working with local communities and authorities on sustainable forest management, providing training for sustainable tourism, and leading sustainable projects such as tree nurseries that help restore butterfly forest and mushroom production. These measures have also helped to provide additional income to local communities that share the forest with the monarch butterflies. 

 As part of our efforts to save the monarch butterfly, WWF and world-renowned chef José Andrés are joining forces for the second year in a row to raise awareness and funds for these butterflies. During June 18 – 24, José Andrés’ DC-based restaurant, Oyamel, will feature special dishes inspired by the region in Mexico where migratory monarch butterflies overwinter. As part of the initiative, Oyamel will donate a portion of proceeds from a special Monarch Week menu to support WWF's work to protect the monarch butterflies. A selection of items from the menu for Monarch Week include: 

  • Mojito Sandía - Mint-charged rum, lime, watermelon 
  • Ensalada de Farro- Anson Mills farro salad with a cucumber pipián, pea shoots, peas, green beans, spiced pumpkin seeds and queso fresco
  • Buñuelo - Crispy fried butterfly cookie, piloncillo, candied pumpkin seeds, orange granita and vanilla ice cream

“During my many visits to Mexico to learn more about its regional cuisines, I heard about the beautiful forest in Central Mexico filled with Oyamel fir trees, where hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies journey every year. I am captivated by this amazing creature, but I also know that it faces an uphill battle for survival. That is why I am proud to participate with my Mexican restaurant Oyamel in Monarch Butterfly Week. We will be partnering with WWF’s Monarch Squad to support the vital work of WWF as they rally 1 million supporters to come together and help save the migratory monarch butterfly.”

José
Andrés

In addition to Monarch Week at Oyamel, Chef Andrés acts as WWF’s Monarch Squad Champion by raising awareness about this species and encouraging fans to do their part to protect this migratory miracle. In the US, WWF has set a bold goal of getting one million supporters to join the Monarch Squad, to help save the monarch habitat by reducing habitat conversion and the use of herbicides along its migratory route in the US. Join José Andrés and learn more about WWF’s Monarch Squad here

  • Date: 14 June 2018
  • Author: Jay Harf, L’Oréal USA’s Vice President of Environment, Health, Safety, & Sustainability, L'Oreal USA

L’Oréal USA has joined the Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC), a coalition of manufacturers, state and local governments, and environmental organizations committed to increasing options for access to sustainable, cost-competitive renewable thermal energy. Jay Harf, L’Oreal USA’s Vice President of Environment, Health, Safety, & Sustainability, share more about why thermal energy matters to the company.

L'Oreal Harf

Why is addressing thermal energy important to L’Oréal USA?

L’Oréal USA has been engaged in a sustainability transformation of our Operations since 2005.  We formalized these commitments in 2013 as part of our global Sharing Beauty With All sustainability program, which defines clear targets for our entire business including a goal to decrease our carbon emissions for our manufacturing and distribution facilities by 60% by 2020.  In 2017, we achieved a major milestone -- 100% renewable electricity and 84% reduction of our CO2 emissions compared to 2005 levels-- exceeding this goal three years early.  Despite this accomplishment, we were driven to do more and set out on an 18-month process to find a renewable energy solution for our thermal needs that would enable us to achieve carbon neutrality for our US Operations facilities. 

In order to manufacture and distribute our beauty products, L’Oréal USA uses energy to heat our facilities as well as water for our sanitization processes.  These thermal needs require natural gas and account for approximately 15% of our overall energy load.  Finding a renewable energy solution to address our thermal requirements was a significant challenge as we sought to achieve carbon neutrality.

Tell us about the progress you’ve made so far?

In March, L’Oréal USA was proud to announce that all 19 of our manufacturing and distribution facilities in 12 states -- covering over 7 million square feet of space -- will be carbon neutral by 2019.  We will achieve this by adding renewable natural gas (RNG) from a new landfill gas processing facility at the Big Run Landfill in Ashland, Kentucky to our diversified energy portfolio, which already includes 16 solar installations plus wind turbines and locally-sourced RECs.  Our long-term RNG purchase commitment was a key underwriting component that led to the financing of the processing facility.  The RNG that L’Oréal USA is purchasing from this new project alone is expected to eliminate the carbon equivalent of 1.8 million gallons of gasoline consumed per year.

What makes the Kentucky project unique?

As we looked for solutions to our thermal emissions, taking a local approach where we would have a positive impact on a community in which we operate while also being financially viable was very important.  Given that our largest manufacturing facility, by tonnage produced, in the world is our haircare plant in Florence, Kentucky, we started our research there and were thrilled to have found a local project only 135 miles from our factory that was able to address all of our US thermal needs.

We are purchasing approximately 40 percent of the RNG that will be produced from the Big Run Landfill.  This is enough RNG to match our natural gas use for our facility in Kentucky and all 18 of our other U.S. manufacturing and distribution facilities.  This use of directed biogas is unique in its scope and scale as we are able to address our thermal emissions for our entire US Operations with a single solution. 

A key piece of criteria when evaluating potential thermal solutions was that the project needed to be financially viable. While RNG offered us a solution, high production costs and demand drive the biogas market cost up significantly. In order to offset the cost differential between RNG and non-renewable natural gas, which can be as high as eight times more, we will temporarily sell the environmental attributes from our RNG back to the transportation fuels market for approximately five years. During this time, we plan to purchase carbon offsets from an EPA award winning RNG site in order to achieve carbon neutrality.  When we reach a financial break-even point on the project after approximately five years, we plan to use the environmental attributes from the RNG we are purchasing to maintain our carbon neutrality for all of our US Operations facilities.

What about the Kentucky project do you think is replicable or that others can learn from?

We believe that the innovative approach we took could potentially be used as a model for other companies looking to address their thermal emissions in a financially and environmentally sustainable way.

LFG has traditionally been used to generate electricity or for direct use at a single site. Today, the highest value use for RNG is in the transportation fuels market. Our financial model leverages this market to generate enough revenue to make the project possible financially. 

With over 10,000 landfills in the US and only 650 active RNG sites, we hope our model encourages others to explore whether they can use this underutilized resource to address their thermal needs and reduce emissions.

Why are you joining the Renewable Thermal Collaborative?

We are excited to join the RTC and share our experience in developing solutions to help accelerate more large buyers’ pursuit of thermal energy solutions that reduce emissions.  As the worldwide leader in beauty, we believe we have a responsibility to lead on sustainability issues and use the scale of our business to make changes that positively impact the world.  We are not done. We believe more innovation is needed and we look forward to being a part of the conversation to help shape the future direction of renewable thermal solutions.

  • Date: 06 June 2018
  • Author: Chef Lucas Glanville, Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations, Grand Hyatt Singapore
Chef-Lucas-Glanville-2016

Billions of people around the world rely on seafood for nutrition and livelihoods, but we are taking more from the oceans than can be replaced. As the global population and the demand for seafood grows, it will only become more difficult for communities around the world to have access to seafood.

As the director of culinary operations at Grand Hyatt Singapore, I have learned a lot about how we can use our purchasing power to promote sustainable seafood. And while Hyatt is applying these lessons at its hotels around the world, this information can also help our competitors shift their procurement to make an industry-wide impact.

In that spirit, here’s my advice to my colleagues and peers.

Engage and educate. When I first started talking to people about the sustainability of our oceans, I realized I was part of the problem and not part of the solution. I recognized how much more my colleagues and I needed to know to make a change. I reached out to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other marine experts to help us better understand the state of the world’s fisheries, opening educational events at the hotel to not just to kitchen and food and beverage colleagues but to the entire hotel team. This helped generate not just awareness but also genuine interest and excitement. People are motivated by work with purpose, and it’s a relevant topic to anyone who eats seafood.

Define your goals. Determining which seafood is sustainable is important. Ultimately, Hyatt developed seafood goals with WWF and focused on increasing seafood from fisheries and farms that are certified to the standards of the Marine Stewardship Council and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, respectively, or were working toward meeting those standards. By supporting fisheries and farms comprehensively working to improve against those standards, we can help increase the availability of more sustainable, responsible and traceable product.

Know what you are buying and simplify. After taking stock of exactly what was coming into the hotel, we realized we were buying over 600 seafood items, a large number even for a hotel the size of Grand Hyatt Singapore. We brought that number down to fewer than 100 by removing unnecessary and redundant items. And while it took us years to reach this level, it became dramatically easier to manage costs and created stronger relationships with suppliers who were willing to take this journey with us.

Manage your overall costs. Find ways to create value and increase the sustainability and quality of the seafood you are buying by managing your overall costs. Utilize economies of scale through having fewer products and greater volume through select suppliers, adjust portions to what makes sense for the menu and the plate, look for opportunities to consolidate purchasing with sister hotels, and when applicable, reduce costs in another area – like tackling overproduction for banquets – to address potential premiums for sustainable seafood.

Avoid endangered species. Some species just simply need more time to recover from historic overfishing. Hyatt globally is working to address endangered species on our menus and has banned shark fin from all properties. At Grand Hyatt Singapore, we have been working diligently to address other endangered species and have also removed popular but overfished seafood like bluefin tuna from our menus. Some endangered species are culturally important in many regions, but ultimately, we found that our customers, colleagues and owners embraced the shift.

Determine your seafood’s origins. You cannot truly buy sustainably if you don’t know where your seafood comes from. It is estimated that nearly one in three seafood items is mislabelled, and one in five seafood items was sourced from illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) sources. Traceability is critical to addressing these issues. At Grand Hyatt Singapore, we work closely with our suppliers to track the origins of our products. We were also one of the first hotels in Asia to obtain MSC and ASC Chain of Custody certification – a traceability and segregation standard that enables us to demonstrate to our customers that our hotel and our suppliers can track MSC and ASC certified product back to the fishery or farm, respectively.

The more restaurants, suppliers, and guests get involved, the broader impact we can make. While we have collectively come a long way, there’s still a lot of work to do. Fortunately, our experiences engaging our colleagues, customers, suppliers, property owners and more have been exceedingly positive. There is wide and growing recognition that we must protect our planet and its natural resources if we want our children and grandchildren to continue enjoying these gifts from the sea.

  • Date: 06 June 2018
  • Author: Amanda Stone, Director of Platforms and Engagement at WWF

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations  around 35% of harvested fish and seafood is either lost or wasted along the supply chain - with other studies putting that number closer to 50%.

And this comes at a time when nearly 90% of the world’s fisheries are harvested right up to or beyond their ecological limits. As populations and appetites for nutritious protein like seafood grow, we have precious few resources to spare.

So where does this loss happen?

Some of it happens while still out on the ocean. Wherever there is fishing, there is bycatch: Millions of tons of fish, sea turtles, whales, dolphins and other sea creatures are caught unintentionally and then discarded or returned to the sea each year - in many cases because they’re dead, dying or badly damaged or because they’re not marketable. A 2009 study found that bycatch could represent 40% of global marine catches that are unused or unmanaged, though in some markets much of this bycatch does make it to market, which makes it tricky to measure. 

Luckily, proven solutions like alternative fishing gear do exist to reduce bycatch and others are in the works. (Learn more about how WWF works with partners on developing this gear and how to sustainably manage wild fisheries.)

But bycatch isn’t the only cause of loss. Once a catch lands at dock, it makes a few more stops before reaching your plate, such as processing plants, airplanes, traders, wholesalers, dealers, distributors, and transporters. Along this journey, it must stay cold and controlled through careful preservation and processing techniques to be safe and ready for consumption; if it doesn’t, it can be lost to spoilage at any step. Often the seafood you eat is frozen when caught and transported, then thawed and marketed as “fresh”.  FAO estimates that 27% of fish are lost or wasted between catch and consumption.

To help us better envision this long trip, WWF worked with Condition One and Google to bring one of these journeys to life using 360° video and virtual reality (VR). Through this visualization, we are inspired to find solutions and empowered to eliminate waste and to fully value the time and energy behind every wild-caught or farm-raised fish we consume.

Supported by Google’s Daydream Impact program and produced by Condition One, the VR project aims to help raise awareness around the challenges facing our oceans using VR video. Short of physically being on a fishing boat or in a processing plant, there’s no better way to understand these issues.

You can experience the video below on YouTube on desktop or mobile – use your mouse or finger depending on your device to move around and explore the scenery around you. For the most immersive experience, view the video on YouTube using a VR viewer like Cardboard or Daydream View.

You can also dive in and explore one sample supply chain with a new Google Voyager – a map-based guided story that casts off from a dock in California and follows the fish on their journey, while exploring loss along the way.  

The amount of seafood we lose each year could help feed millions around the world. The loss and waste of seafood products represents the loss of biodiversity and all the resources that were used to grow, transport and refrigerate that fish (feed, fuel, energy). By attempting to eliminate seafood waste throughout the supply chain, we can make better use what we harvest, increase the availability of nutritious seafood for people around the world, decrease price volatility in seafood markets, and potentially increase fishery productivity and profitability.

We all have a role to play in reducing lost and waste across the supply chain from fishermen to processors to consumers. For example:

  • Gear development and policy changes can reduce bycatch.
  • Technological innovation in storage, refrigeration, processing, and packaging can increase efficiency.
  • Measurement of waste and sharing loss/waste information across industries can illuminate possible areas for prevention or reduction and cost savings.
  • Eliminating fish bycatch or creatively using unavoidable bycatch can generate alternative sources of nutrition for consumers and additional revenue streams for companies.

WWF is working with businesses across the supply chain to reduce loss and waste.

Learn more about what consumers can do to cut waste: www.worldwildlife.org/stories/from-ocean-to-plate
Read more about WWF’s work with private sector partners on sustainable seafood: www.seafoodsustainability.org

  • Date: 05 June 2018
  • Author: Michele Kuruc, Vice President of Oceans Policy

Pop culture is beginning to give illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing the exposure it needs, and it’s a prime opportunity for businesses to step up to help create a transparent seafood supply chain.

For more than 30 years I have worked on IUU-related issues, topics usually kept within the confines of policy briefs and white papers. The audiences vary, but it continually revolves around the same areas of focus. So it piqued my interest when I discovered the age-old method of good storytelling via an action-packed documentary thriller was being used to mainstream this issue for an audience that normally wouldn’t give IUU a second thought.

The film Chasing the Thunder gives IUU the exposure it needs.

Thunder

Producers of the film centered their story around a 110-day, 10,000-mile long chase of an illegal fishing vessel, the Thunder, that plays out as if the bad guys might get away. Spoiler Alert: They don’t. It’s a harrowing tale of citizen activists determined to confront a notorious illegal fishing ship and not let it escape justice, no matter how extreme its tactics. It’s also a prime entry point into a conversation with public and private sector leaders about the problem of IUU.

This serious matter is one shared by communities, businesses and governments.  It threatens company reputations, stable supply chains, secure food supplies and economic success. It is conservatively estimated that illegal fishing robs the market of $34.6 billion dollars every year. But the actual total figure is certainly much higher. The Thunder alone was estimated to have made more than $60 million in profits over its decade-long spree. The good news is, total seafood trade is $140 billion, and that means many companies out there are operating legitimately. These companies implement best business practices, care about their environmental footprint and comply with the laws. They also realize that unless they source seafood sustainably, the future of their businesses and the entire industry may be at risk.

Given what’s at stake, these businesses need to step up and take a leadership role in the search for, and implementation of, solutions to combat IUU. As government agencies improve regulations, businesses will need to be implementers. Companies can be advocates for better policy and develop systems that are realistic and workable in their own environments.  And, because many companies source their products from across the globe, they have an excellent perspective on opportunities for the alignment of solutions across different jurisdictions. That’s a win for everyone.

One solution ready for scaling up right now is for businesses to help stop black-market trade of illicit catches through the new US import rules, which came into effect January 1, 2018. The new program, NOAA’s Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), is an important step and is now being enforced by the US government.

To make SIMP a success, we need companies to step up. It’s a given that companies must comply with the new rules, but, they can go a few steps further:

  • Acknowledge the value of traceability and promote it.
  • Help customers understand the value of sustainability.
  • Support funding for implementation and enforcement of SIMP and similar legal fishing policies.
  • Support development of new tools to help exporting countries comply with the rules.
  • Work with overseas suppliers to ensure they understand what to do.

In the end, the Thunder was scuttled by its captain, the owner and captain were convicted and fined millions of dollars, and the captain served some prison time. Still, it represents a minority in the seafood industry, such actions lead to significant damage. This vessel had been part of a six-vessel fleet and has been poaching for more than ten years.

The film leaves the sense that the high seas of today can be a bit like the past, our vision of the wild, wild west – vast, lawless and uncontrolled. That’s the void responsible business can help fill by being vocal about programs that are needed to stop the unfair behaviors that many get away with out at sea, where patrolling is difficult. It can be done, and here’s how:

  • Support better regulation in international fora, including use of monitoring technologies and more details about catches.
  • Don’t perpetuate loopholes; have all species included in SIMP.
  • Install electronic monitoring systems on vessels.
  • Don’t protect the bad guys: cones of silence aren’t helping the responsible actors.
  • Be sure your supply chain isn’t running on forced labor.
  • Understand that IUU fishing will require a suite of tools: some high-tech, some regulatory and some just plain old common sense.

Just as the Thunder closed its net around millions of dollars’ worth of illegally caught toothfish, leadership from industry can help tighten the net around the black-market trade that steals from coastal communities and legitimate businesses. Most businesses would never contemplate skirting the law so brazenly, but that’s no longer enough to be considered good, responsible business. Seafood companies – fleets, processors, importers, exporters – all have an opportunity to demonstrate the kind of leadership that will really put the squeeze on organized networks profiting from ocean crimes, like illegal fishing, thus helping to advance the journey to seafood sustainability.

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