Voluntary disclosure of sustainability performance data by the private sector has proven to be a powerful tool for driving positive change. There have been generic approaches to this task (for instance the Global Reporting Initiative) as well as more focussed sector-specific initiatives such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (now known as CDP). CDP works with thousands of businesses to assist them in publicly reporting their carbon emissions according to a standardised template and is also developing tools for forest products and water use.
The public disclosure of corporate sustainability data has benefited consumers while allowing investors to better understand the risks in their portfolios. It has also had the effect of stimulating companies to benchmark themselves against others and make greater efforts to improve performance. SFP has now launched a parallel initiative to CDP that will support retailers and other companies in disclosing details regarding sustainable seafood sourcing on an annual basis. The Ocean Disclosure Project (ODP) invites businesses to submit their lists of source fisheries to SFP so that additional data can be incorporated (e.g the status of management and stocks in specific fisheries) and further analysis performed. The results are then published as individual corporate profiles on both the SFP website and on company websites. Each of the company profiles contain the following information for wild fisheries used for sourcing during 2014:
- Name of fish
- Geographical location of source fisheries
- The type of fishing gear
- The nationality of the fishery
- An assessment of the management and status of the fishery using scores derived from the public Fishsource database
- A narrative assessment of environmental impacts derived from the public Fishsource database
- The presence of third party fishery certifications or fisheries that have been approved as part of wider certifications
- The existence of improvement projects
The ODP for 2015 was launched in July with the participation of five companies; Asda, Biomar, The Cooperative Food, Morrisons and Skretting. The profiles for each of these companies can be seen in the right hand panel on this page along with an explanatory document that describes every aspect of the ODP initiative. The press release for the launch of the 2015 ODP is also available in the panel. SFP hopes that participation in the ODP will increase every year and that it becomes a platform for responsible companies to demonstrate very high levels of transparency and commitment to sustainability. The information presented in the ODP will be of great value to consumers, seafood companies and investors while building confidence in the responsible operations of the seafood industry as a whole.