2015 in ReviewDecember 20th, 2015
As 2015 draws to a close, it is a good time to review the progress we have made since we formed in the late half of 2014. As a relatively new organization, this year, 2015, has been a busy year – for me personally, and for the Alliance.
I came on board as Executive Director in January 2015, allowing the organization to move from a start-up to a structured organization focused on a comprehensive vision of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Since then, we have spent a great deal of time and effort focused on developing our long-term CSR strategy, the guiding principles of which are published here.
Even before publishing the pillars of our CSR strategy, our members had already made commitments to significant action and investment in environmental sustainability. Highlights run the gamut from fun educational events to significant operational changes. We’ve done everything from engaging employees and consumers in education campaigns about World Ocean Day and the importance of our oceans as one of many steps we take to ensure that we build cultures that consider environmental sustainability – to training our members’ marketing teams about the importance of sustainability – to changing aspects the core of the business for the environment.
Perhaps of most note this year: our members have made 2 significant commitments to the environment that, while they will cost the industry financially, we decided are important to make.
In June of this year, our members – Grupomar, Herdez Del Fuerte, Pesca Azteca, and Procesa – announced to the world that they would be the first and only private companies in the world to voluntarily withdraw from the highly lucrative business of fishing on blue fin tuna. We made that important commitment for a 5-year period because we think it is the right thing to do. We believe that it’s important to act, not just talk, about sustainability.
In August of this year, we began to map out our Action Plan 2016-2020, the plan that will guide our industry to continuously improve. This Action Plan is part of our process of pursuing certification to the Marine Stewardship Council Standard by SCS Global Services but the industry has gone above and beyond, seeking to be more open, collaborative, and active than even required by the MSC certification process.
To reach the point where we feel able to develop an Action Plan, we knew we needed to seek external perspectives. We set out to learn what stakeholders in our fishery and the Eastern Pacific Ocean had to say. Over the year, we have spoken with over one hundred NGOs, scientists, government representatives, business people and other interested parties – both global and Mexican – to learn what stakeholders in our fishery and the Eastern Pacific Ocean have to say. We have processed all of this feedback and are refining our plan.
We know that the plan will require significant effort, investment, and collaboration – and we look forward to working with stakeholders to jointly work toward the health of the ocean – for future generations.
You’ll be hearing from us a lot starting in February of 2016 when we publish highlights of our Action Plan to this website – and invite stakeholders to formally engage with us.
It’s with great energy and hopes for 2016 that I sign off for the year.
Happy new year – feliz 2016 a todos!