A region in the Arctic will be protected from industrial fishing thanks to an investigation by Greenpeace. Research showed that previously untouched areas of the Arctic were being destroyed by trawling boats fishing for cod. A number of high profile businesses backing the investigation have agreed to reign in their fishing boats.
In a joint statement, companies including McDonald’s, Tesco, Birds Eye, Young’s Seafood and Europe’s largest frozen fish processor, Espersen, have said their suppliers will refrain from expanding their cod fisheries further into pristine Arctic waters whilst scientific research into this largely unexplored marine environment takes place. From the catching sector, Fiskebåt -representing the entire Norwegian oceangoing fishing fleet- and Russian Karat Group, have also signed onto this historical agreement.
The agreement, which spans the whole supply chain from sea to shelf and covers an area twice the size of France, was brokered by Greenpeace following a campaign launched in February. It marks the first time the seafood sector has voluntarily imposed limitations to industrial fishing in the Arctic. This means that any fishing companies operating in these pristine Arctic waters will not be able to sell their cod to the brands supporting this agreement.
The deal follows a Greenpeace investigation showing that fishing fleets using bottom trawling gear are advancing into pristine areas previously covered by ice. The report exposed how well-known food brands and retailers around the world were at risk of sourcing products tainted with Arctic destruction.
Daniela Montalto, Greenpeace UK campaigner, said: “This is a major step in the right direction. This unprecedented alliance have today taken a stand for the fragile Arctic environment, and set an important precedent for other industries eyeing up this region. The challenge for these companies is now to deliver on their commitment to Arctic protection and show real results out on the water. The melting ice should be a stark warning of the dangers of climate change, not an opportunity to plunder this fragile ecosystem.”
This statement comes as the latest satellite observations indicate that Arctic sea ice loss could be more dramatic this year than ever before. With sea ice levels at record low, large areas of water are left open for longer periods making the need for legal protection to replace the protective ice-shield even more urgent.
The region, which includes the Svalbard archipelago, also known as the ‘Arctic Galapagos’, is home to vulnerable species including polar bears, bowhead whales and Greenland sharks. The swathe of Barents Sea covered by the agreement is adjacent to major fishing grounds where at least 70% of all the Atlantic cod that ends up on dinner plates around the world comes from.
Currently, there is no law in place to protect Arctic areas previously covered by sea ice. In the absence of political action by the Norwegian Government, Greenpeace welcomes the temporary stop-gap this agreement brings. But the environmental group is also calling on the Norwegian government to wake up to the urgent need of bringing legally binding protection to these areas.
Montalto continues: “The Norwegian government must now acknowledge the growing resistance to reckless exploitation of the fragile Arctic environment, not only from the millions of people around the world who want the Arctic protected but also from the corporate world. Now is the time to take concrete steps towards legal protection of Svalbard and the northern Barents Sea so that Norway can meet its international obligation for marine protection.”
This summer, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise will go to the Arctic to ensure that the entire fishing industry meets these commitments and that cod ending up on UK dinner plates does not come from Arctic destruction.
4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again
As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.
Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.
Jars and Containers
Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.
An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.
Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!
If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!
Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!
These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money
The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.
Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.
Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.
Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale
The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.
Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.
Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI
It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.
Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.
Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.
Implementing green changes without a plan
Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.
Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:
- How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
- How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
- How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
- How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?
The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.
Not considering the benefits of green printing
Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.
Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.
According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:
- They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
- They consume less energy than traditional printers.
- They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.
You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.
Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers
Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.
The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.
You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.
Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.
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