APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
The time has come to revolutionize our current relationship with ocean trash. Instead of arguing about the contours of the problem, the Trash Free Seas Alliance seeks to move to a solutions-based approach that harnesses the power of the marketplace to reduce the impact of trash on ocean ecosystems. Quite simply, Ocean Conservancy seek to build champions around the idea that ocean trash is too valuable to toss by building integrated cross-sector solutions that eliminate ocean trash from our planet
As the organization leading the world's largest volunteer effort to conduct beach and river cleanups, Ocean Conservancy has learned that removal alone is not enough. The true solution is stopping trash from reaching our waterways and the ocean in the first place. Because of its extensive experience, Ocean Conservancy will lead and resource the Trash Free Seas Alliance.
Members of the Trash Free Seas Alliance pledge to move now toward solutions that will eliminate ocean trash. Members pledge an individual responsibility to take immediate steps as well as advance long-term solutions for trash-free seas. Members work toward solutions that are creative, bold, and entrepreneurial in approach. Members seek to reduce and, where possible, reinvent products and services that damage ocean wildlife or ecosystems. Members agree to act within the confines of current knowledge about the effects of ocean trash even while seeking greater understanding and scientific knowledge on the issue.
These individual pledges of action allow Alliance members to identify meaningful steps to ultimately transform organizational decision-making in ways that prioritizes ocean health. To encourage full ownership of member action plans, Ocean Conservancy will work with Alliance members during the first year to develop and articulate a customized action plan. This plan could identify meaningful changes in supply chain sourcing, manufacturing goals, or the development of stronger institutional policies and practices that reduce the impact of trash on ocean health. This plan could also identify ways in which Alliance members can come together to increase the power of existing sustainability initiatives through partnerships. For example, a banking member could pledge to develop financing incentives for clients that have products and/or policies that reduce ocean trash. A plastic resin product manufacturer could pledge to develop a plastic sorting technology that makes ocean trash usable for plastic resin pellet production. Every Alliance member will create and communicate an action plan, and each action plan will be different and tailored to the reach, mission, and activities of each member. At the end of one year, Alliance members will jointly communicate member goals and progress in an annual Alliance report.
To encourage new insights and market innovations, the Alliance will also convene Innovation Groups to tackle issue-specific projects where pooled impact can yield greater results. Participation within Innovation Groups will be carefully designed to generate the greatest impact through pilot projects and will include Alliance and non-Alliance participants essential to project success. In June 2012, the Alliance Executive Committee will prioritize Innovation Group topics to present to the September 2012 Alliance member-wide meeting for full approval.
The cross-sector Alliance members will meet in person once a year and via teleconference/webinars at other times of the year to develop, monitor, and evaluate the progress achieved on projects built around the broad topic of ocean trash.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
Launch at Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting - September 2011
Recruit Founding Members - July to December 2011
Appoint Executive Committee - November 2011
Recruit General Members - October 2011 to March 2012
First Annual Meeting - April 2012
- Finalize governance structure for Alliance
- Publicize and announce full Alliance membership from three sectors (industry, conservation, science)
- Solidify executive member roles and positions
- Identify first innovation group topic; identify Alliance annual priorities
- Establish first innovation group
First Innovation Group Meeting - April - December 2012
- Establish project goals
- Develop goals and objectives of the innovation group project
- Assign work structure, roles, and responsibilities
First Teleconference/Webinar Members Meeting - September 2012
- Discuss Alliance development (new members, 1st innovation group meeting results, etc.)
- Formalize member immediate action pledges to reduce ocean trash
The ocean currently serves as the end of the pipeline - from rivers, lakes, streams and other waterways - for products that are not recycled, re-purposed, or properly disposed. The resulting ocean trash inflicts harmful costs on wildlife as well as coastal communities and their economies, costing more than a billion dollars annually in the Asia-Pacific region alone. Ocean trash also represents wasted resource efficiency for supply chain-focused industries. Ocean trash affects everyone, everywhere. Despite the fact that ocean trash is so prevalent, we know very little about its impacts on ocean ecosystems. What we know because of numerous discrete, small-scale or geographically limited studies provides a limited ability to assess definitive targets. This uncertainty has emerged as a point of contention within the policy debate. It should not, however, prevent us from exercising action to address one of the largest perceived threats to ocean health.
SEEKING: Financial Resources, Implementing Partners, Best Practice Information, Media/Marketing Opportunities
Ocean Conservancy seeks members for the Trash Free Seas Alliance who are willing to make meaningful changes and work toward trash free seas. Membership fees apply.
OFFERING: Implementing Partners, Best Practice Information, Media/Marketing Opportunities
Inclusion in the Alliance as well as participation in the International Coastal Cleanup. Access to scientific and conservation developments and trends.