Nic Berkeland faced a serious challenge when he became Target’s senior seafood buyer a few years ago. Gry Engen, Nic’s partner and senior buyer, owned brands, together with leading a team that would make all Target’s fresh and frozen seafood assortment sourced sustainably.
This was a rare move in the retail industry at the time — and the clock was ticking.
Back in 2011, Target set a goal to have our entire fresh and frozen seafood assortment sustainable, traceable, or in a time-bound improvement process by the end of fiscal year 2015. Since then, Nic, Gry and their teams worked closely with environmental partner FishWise, trusted vendors and other stakeholders, to develop a comprehensive sustainable seafood program with strict guidelines that every fresh or frozen seafood product we sell must meet.
Today, we’re proud to say we’ve made it 97 percent of the way to our goal, and that we’ve already achieved it for 100 percent of our owned-brand seafood products. And we’re still pushing ahead to achieve full compliance across the remaining products later this year.
But the milestone didn’t come easily. “It really was an industry-leading project,” Nic says. “When we first started out, there weren’t a lot of suppliers whose fisheries or farms were ready, willing and able to meet our criteria on such an ambitious timeline.” For many vendors, it meant big, time-consuming changes to their operations, tracing products back to the boats the fish were caught on, and shifting business to new fisheries around the world who sourced responsibly.
This wasn’t something that could be done in a year.
Gry says: “There were benchmarking studies, tough, strategic conversations about what products to keep, what to switch over and when—lots of planning and creative thinking. We thought in terms of baby steps: How much could we realistically complete by 2013, by 2014 …?” There were days when finishing the project in time seemed next to impossible. “But then I’d think—if we don’t do this, there won’t be enough fish for generations to come,” Gry remembers. “This work is going to help so many people eat better.”
“The partnership with FishWise made things really seamless,” Nic says. “They advised us, and connected us with the right vendors, organisations and experts to help make the best decisions for everyone involved. And the seafood community was really open to what we were doing—they knew the industry was moving toward sustainably-sourced products, and that making these updates to their businesses now would help them in the future.”
The result, over time, was Target’s sustainable seafood guidelines. Products that meet our guidelines are rated Green or Yellow by the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA)’s Seafood Watch program, or are from eco-certified sources deemed equivalent to an MBA Yellow rating or better. Products from sources in a credible time-bound improvement process may also qualify if they are on a demonstrable path to meeting our guidelines. Target’s team uses the guidelines along with Target’s strict social compliance policies that ensure products are produced ethically and in accordance with local laws.
“Thanks to the efforts of multiple Target teams, FishWise, and too many external stakeholders and vendors to mention individually, Target has come extraordinary close to fully meeting its 2015 Responsible Seafood Commitment,” says William Wall, distributor division director, FishWise. “I am very confident that Target will continue to build on this success, thereby maintaining their leadership position within the retail space.”
Since Greenpeace’s annual “Carting Away the Oceans” report was first released in 2008, Target has maintained a top 10 position, putting us among the top tier of U.S. supermarkets that are addressing the major social and environmental concerns associated with seafood.
Though this milestone is a big one, operating sustainably isn’t something new for Target—we’ve been working to improve social and environmental impact through our product design and development, manufacturing and operations for years.
“Today, sustainability is a major factor in decisions we make across our business,” says Amanda Irish, vice president, owned brand essentials, Target. “We aim to act as a progressive force for curating sustainable products, so we can create long-term value that goes beyond Target and into our communities.”
Interested in learning more about Target’s sustainability efforts? Check out more of the ways we’re designing for more value, positive impact and healthy, vibrant communities.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .