Tuesday, June 6, 2023

In the Race to Stop Climate Change, a New, Blue Standard


International non-profit organization Oceanic Global wants you to think blue, not green, when it comes to protecting the planet from climate change. The new Blue Standard aims to put ocean protection top of mind.

Launched earlier this month, Oceanic Global’s new Blue Standard is the first-of-its-kind cross-industry initiative assessing the impact global industries have on our oceans and how that affects human health and climate change. The two-pronged rating system was developed by Oceanic Global’s Scientific Advisory Board and experts in WELL and LEED building certifications.

The Blue Standard’s aim is to put ocean protection at the forefront of conservation conversations. While “green” has long been symbolic of environmental efforts, Oceanic Global says that leaves out the critical dialogue about ocean health. The planet is about 70 percent ocean, and these blue waters play critical roles in regulating global climate, absorbing carbon, as well as producing more than half of the planet’s oxygen.

Climate change and ocean health

“The health of our ocean is at a tipping point as is that of our collective well-being,” Cassia Patel, Program Director for Oceanic Global, said in a statement.

“We developed Blue to inspire the people and communities that make up businesses and industries to take continued action for our blue planet, and to maximize the positive impact we can all create in our immediate spheres and beyond,” Patel added.

Image courtesy Shifaaz Shamoon on Unsplash

Oceanic Global, the official non-profit and production partner to United Nations World Oceans Day since 2019, says marine ecosystems are bearing the brunt of human industries, which include overfishing, ocean acidification, and the mounting plastic pollution crisis so widespread the number of pieces of plastic could triple by 2040 and outnumber fish by 2050, according to the world’s leading experts.

According to a recent survey of more than 10,000 consumers, more than half showed support for businesses adopting more environmental practices; 42 percent of participants said they had already changed consumption habits based on their personal environmental commitments.

The Blue Standard

The new Blue Standard is an extension of Oceanic Global’s long-standing program formerly known as the Oceanic Standard. The Standard includes two ratings: a 3-star sustainability verification system for Business Operations; and Product and Packing Seals that verify plastic-free consumer goods.

The rating system takes aim at greenwashing while establishing business accountability metrics to help protect the world’s oceans. It works across industries including hospitality, music, events, office spaces, professional sports, and consumer packaged goods, among others. To date, the program has secured buying deals with more than 300 vetted vendors that can help businesses reduce or eliminate single-use plastic. The Blue Standard has already verified more than 400 businesses across 26 countries and worked on seven environmental policies across the globe. Among its verified businesses are House of Yes and Salesforce in New York, the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, Citi Tower in Hong Kong, Habitas in Tulum, Mexico, and all 19 Sandals Resorts International properties in the Caribbean.

Image courtesy Blue Standard

“With businesses of all sizes increasingly adopting sustainable practices, we recognized both the need and the potential to create universal accountability for these efforts and for how they’re communicated to consumers,” said Lea d’Auriol, Oceanic Global’s founder.

“Our hope is that through empowering comprehensive commitments to sustainability and lasting systems change, The Blue Standard will work to create a new balance between industries and the natural world that sustains them.” 

Learn more by visiting The Blue Standard website.

Related: Prince Harry, Leonardo DiCaprio Lead Conservation Effort for One of Africa’s Most Important Ecosystems


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