Ocean view of two whales swimming next to one another from overhead

Two blue whales in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Companies in the Ambassador initiative represent a variety of industries. Photo: Nomad Goods.

ship in ocean from above showing containers

Slowing ships means cleaner air, safer whales, and a quieter ocean. Photo: NOAA

Companies become Ambassadors for Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies: a partnership committed to making maritime shipping more sustainable.

Companies are taking responsibility to ensure their products are shipped more sustainably.”

— Amber McEldowney, Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies

CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, March 28, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies program recognizes ten companies that have committed to making a difference for whales, people and the planet by becoming Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies Ambassadors.

Companies that have joined the Ambassador Initiative are in a variety of industries spanning from coffee to consumer goods, united by their commitment to sustainable shipping. Ports, freight forwarders, and logistics companies have also joined. Pioneering Ambassadors include Nomad Goods, Peak Design, Summit Coffee, Way Basics, Santa Cruz Bicycles, Who Gives a Crap, Sonos, The Block Logistics, the Port of Hueneme, and JAS Worldwide.

The Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies program incentivizes shipping companies to voluntarily reduce their speeds along California’s coast to reduce fatal ship strikes to endangered whales, air pollution, regional greenhouse gas emissions, and underwater noise. By verifying voluntary cooperation, calculating environmental benefits, and recognizing program participants, the program helps shipping companies meet the demands of commerce in a more sustainable way.

Companies that ship their goods to or from California’s ports play an important role in the positive recognition and conservation benefits of the program. Ambassadors receive data about the environmental benefits associated with their shipping companies’ participation including the reduced risk of ship strikes to whales, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and underwater noise. This information can be used to inform customers and stakeholders, and to make more sustainable shipping decisions. Ambassadors also receive the program’s logo, and communications toolkit to promote their participation and the benefits of shipping more sustainably.

Empowered with data, Ambassadors recognize their shipping companies’ participation and encourage their continued cooperation. By creating a demand for sustainable shipping practices, Ambassadors contribute to the success of the program. “Companies are taking responsibility to ensure their products are shipped more sustainably,” says Amber McEldowney, Ambassador Coordinator.

In 2023, Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies achieved the highest participation and cooperation levels since its inception in 2014, even after phasing out financial incentives. During the 2023 season, 33 participating shipping companies traveled over 375,000 nautical miles at 10 knots or less.

The program is free to join, and Ambassadors report that it is a simple way to make a tangible impact. “Being a brand ambassador was a no-brainer for us: it’s a low lift opportunity for brands to grow awareness and concretely move the dial in shaping freight industry practices,” said Annie Nyborg, Sustainability Director at Peak Design. “Joining the initiative costs nothing aside from using our voices to advocate for more sustainable transportation. It’s something all responsible brands should join.”

“Through this partnership, we remain committed to exclusively booking freight companies that participate in vessel speed reduction,” said Scott Beatty, Nomad Procurement Manager. “Our hope is that this regional initiative will develop at a global scale. We strongly encourage other companies that ship along the California coast to become ambassadors, raise awareness, and encourage their freight companies to participate in the program.”

“Sonos is proud to join Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies as a Brand Ambassador” says Deji Olukotun Director of Global Affairs and Sustainability at Sonos. “We were founded in Santa Barbara, and we’re committed to doing our part to protect the ecological biodiversity of the area.”

“Our coffee roasting business has a larger impact than anything else we do, so being intentional about every aspect of our roasting is imperative,” said Brett Dioguardi, Director of Sustainability and Supply Chain for Summit Coffee. “Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies is a great example and opportunity for us to help share the great work being done, and to encourage other companies to get involved too.”

Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies is a vessel speed reduction program for safer whales, cleaner air, and a quieter ocean. It is a collaborative effort by several air pollution control districts, national marine sanctuaries in California, the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and other non-profit organizations.

To get involved, interested companies should visit www.bluewhalesblueskies.org/brands or contact info@bluewhalesblueskies.org. Enrollment is free and takes just a few minutes.

Sarah Marquis
Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies
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