May 19, 2016

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At Future 500, stakeholder engagement is a fundamental belief and the key to our success. Our mission is to engage and align diverse stakeholders in multiple sectors to achieve systemic solutions to urgent global issues—including major threats to our oceans and coasts.

Want to learn more about stakeholder engagement? Check out our animated video below:

Did you know 5-14 million tons of plastic enter our ocean each year from land-based sources? By 2025, for every three tons of finfish swimming in the ocean, there could be one ton of plastic in marine waters as well. Our team of social responsibility advocates work with brands, retailers and NGOs alike on one of the greatest challenges facing our ocean— plastic pollution.

Through this work, we’ve engaged over 200 stakeholders on this issue. Major wins include California’s Bottle Bill in which we built a corporate-NGO coalition that crafted California’s innovative “Bottle Bill”—arguably the most cost-effective in the world—using economic incentives to recycle more than 100 billion beverage containers and a host of packaging materials and products.

To support our work toward Extended Producer Responsibility (2011-2012), we led a four part multi-stakeholder “Dialogue” series to address what EPR policy might mean for the United States. These discussions renewed the momentum for industry and recycling advocates across the country to pursue voluntary and regulatory approaches to waste conservation.

© Lars Korvald

© Lars Korvald

As part of our recent efforts in NGO coalition building, we spearheaded a letter with Ocean Conservancy calling for industry action. We are proud to stand by a diverse range of groups with different roles and approaches, like Mission Blue, while moving towards a common goal – to stop plastics from entering the marine environment. Check out the letter here: http://www.plasticpreventionletter.org/

Another ocean-related initiative includes our participation in the 50×50 Earth Day Challenge. Through this effort, we are seeking to build consensus around a new ocean, forests, and climate agenda. The event is timely given the increasing number of stressors placed on the ocean like acidification, overfishing, offshore oil and gas exploration, toxic spills, and the growing amount of plastic pollution. We believe businesses and NGOs together will help drive market-based solutions, sound policy and innovative technology to new heights to protect our oceans and coasts. We are excited to collaborate with Mission Blue for this event.

The private sector (shipping, commercial fisheries, and tourism), especially in recent years, has been involved in multi-stakeholder dialogue that tackles ocean protection while maintaining a bottom line. There is, however, a larger role that both government and the private sector can play to safeguard ocean resources for commercial interests, marine life and the communities that depend on them. We see wide-scale implementation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as a key solution and fully support Mission Blue’s goal of ignited hope spots to protect 20% of the ocean by the year 2020. We know our work with stakeholders like Mission Blue will lead to vibrant, sustainable ocean ecosystems for the health of our future.


Featured image: Mendocino Headlands State Park © Jennifer Morrow

 

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