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How Businesses Are Working to Protect Our Oceans

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Sarah Kauss

Founder & CEO, S’well

What are the biggest challenges facing our oceans today?

Plastics entering waterways from land are a huge issue. In fact, 8 million tons of plastic each year go from land to water, and it is our mission to displace the single-use plastic bottles that are contributing to this issue.

How have you been able to create sustainable change?

When I started S’well in 2010, I set out to rid the world of plastic bottles. I thought if I could create a reusable bottle that enhanced the drinking experience, we might be able to do more good. We’ve gone beyond our products to focus on programs and people, launching a sustainability initiative called the Million Bottle Project which aims to displace 100 million single-use plastic bottles by 2020.

What can individuals and organizations do to help ocean sustainability?

We work hard at S’well to promote reducing the use of single-use plastic bottles and to help encourage smarter ways to consume. Through product innovation and unique partnerships with public, private, and nonprofit organizations, we’ve found that making sustainability easy and personal are keys to elevating awareness and driving action.

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Dr. Darian McBaine

Global Director of Sustainability

What are the biggest challenges facing our oceans today?

Climate change, plastics pollution, and the impact of a number of ocean-based industries such as transportation, mining, and tourism are starting to take their toll. Managing the multiple threats remains a significant challenge to ocean health. One of the challenges that Thai Union/Chicken of the Sea is most involved in through our SeaChange® sustainability strategy is the sustainable management of fisheries, because many fish stocks around the world are under threat.

How have you been able to create sustainable change?

In 2015, we launched SeaChange®, our global sustainability strategy, starting a journey that covers every aspect of our business. As part of our SeaChange® sustainability strategy, we focus on four pillars: safe and legal labor, responsible sourcing, responsible operations, and people and communities. At the same time, Thai Union has aligned SeaChange® with three key UN Sustainable Development Goals: zero hunger, decent work and economic growth, and life below water.

What can individuals and organizations do to help ocean sustainability?

Traceability is the backbone of sustainable seafood. Consumers want to know where their fish has come from, and the conditions for how the fish was caught and who was catching it. Technology and new innovations are helping in this effort, opening up a new world of opportunity for ocean sustainability. At Thai Union, these technologies and innovations are a critical part of our sustainability journey and we are constantly looking for new solutions.

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Robert Koenen

Chief Marketing Officer, Boxed Water Is Better

What are the biggest challenges facing our oceans today?

Single-use plastic is an epidemic, and the damage to our oceans is undeniable. There is no shortage of statistics supporting plastic’s impact on ocean life and ultimately the health of our planet. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Recently, scientists found plastic in 100 percent of sea turtle species. It really is heartbreaking, but luckily, single-use plastic is a simple item we can avoid to make a positive difference.

How have you been able to create sustainable change?

Many people don’t realize that oil is not a renewable resource, and is the No. 1 ingredient in plastic. By comparison, the Boxed Water carton is mostly paper, which comes from trees, a renewable resource. The paper is sourced from responsible tree farms that are continuously replanted. Beyond that, we work with the National Forest Foundation to plant trees in national forests affected by fire and disease. As a result, we have planted 790,000 trees and counting.

What can individuals and organizations do to help ocean sustainability?

There is a lot of focus on efforts to clean our oceans and beaches, which is absolutely fantastic! Organizations are taking boats and even drones to clean the plastic waste, and at Boxed Water we clean beaches across the country. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen any efforts that can keep up with the rate of plastic discarded in our oceans. We need to stop pollution at the source.

Staff, [email protected]

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