Sustainable Seafood Finance
Financial institutions can act as a powerful force of positive change by directing finance towards more sustainable projects and companies. The Sustainable Seafood Finance (SSF) initiative is a response to this observation.
Financial Institutions and Sustainable Seafood Finance:
The SSF is a collaboration between the financial services sector, the seafood industry and NGOs to develop a credible and useful global tool based on existing and widely accepted seafood sustainability standards.
The SSF Tool:
The Sustainable Seafood Finance (SSF) Tool is a resource for banks, in particular credit lenders, and seafood companies to jointly identify and address the sustainability risks associated with the sector. It is a tool for proactive risk management as it aims to stimulate improved sustainability performance of the international seafood sector as well as the CSR performance of financial institutions.
The SSF Tool is supportive of the international norms and conventions that govern the law of the sea and the International Finance Corporationís Performance Standards. Specifically, the SSF Tool is structured around two fundamental parameters for sustainable seafood that form the cornerstones of the tool:
1. Elimination of any illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices.
2. Encouragement of sustainable fishing practices in accordance with the Marine Stewardship Councilís (MSC) environmental standard for sustainable fishing.
Building upon IUU fishing and MSC means that the SSF tool is structured around well-established reference points for sustainable fisheries that have global recognition. The structure also delivers an outcomes focused analysis as the SSF tool looks beyond company management procedures and captures in the water results. Application of the SSF Tool is in intended to support step-by-step progress on sustainability performance towards the MSC.
The SSF project team:
The SSF team consists of the Natural Value Initiative of Fauna & Flora International, North Sea Foundation, Synnervate and Scomber consultancy. It is funded by the Arcadia Fund, Oak Foundation and the Packard Foundation. Rabobank and WWF are partners to the SSF.
First international SSF workshop:
On the 26 April 2013, SSF is organising its first international workshop. The purpose is to discuss the SSF tool, how it adds value to both banks and seafood companies, and how it could be refined and expanded in a next phase. Selected participants include financial institutions with a seafood portfolio (in particular credit lenders), seafood companies, UN initiatives, NGOs and relevant seafood experts.
Scope and next steps:
The first generation of the SSF Tool (May 2013) focuses on wild catch and natural resource related risks only. Once the structure for an effective tool has been established, the scope of the tool will expand through a second phase to include other sustainability issues such as human rights, labour conditions, pollution and carbon footprint.
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[24 Apr 2013]