Blue Apron advocates for dietary and planetary wellness – and that includes our commitment to the ocean. The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea. The concept of a ‘World Oceans Day’ was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a way to celebrate our world’s shared oceans as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it. To support this year’s World Oceans Day theme: One Ocean, One Climate, One Future – Together, we want to share more about Blue Apron’s efforts to support the preservation of oceanic health.
Let’s start with carbon. We know that human activities (primarily the burning of fossil fuels) have fundamentally increased the concentration of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) in the Earth’s atmosphere, warming the planet. But the ocean is also affected. The ocean absorbs about one third of those GHGs, which has negative effects on ocean health causing pH reductions and alterations in fundamental chemical balances (commonly referred to as ocean acidification). This is why finding ways to reduce GHG emissions is critical, and why we were so proud to announce Blue Apron’s carbon neutrality earlier this year. As Blue Apron (and other companies and countries around the globe) strive to find ways to reduce emissions it is not only with climate change in mind, but ocean health as well.
The increase in ocean plastic is also a concern. Blue Apron has committed to achieving 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging in our meal kits by 2025. We have already done a lot of work towards that goal. We partner with How2Recycle®, a standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public, and are working to add How2Recycle® labels to all of our internal packaging. The gel packs that are used to keep our meal kit boxes cold in transit are designed to be drain safe and fully recyclable. We also operate a packaging engineering lab that conducts regular tests on new materials and innovative solutions to identify opportunities to reduce the environmental footprint of our packaging, including improved recyclability and increased post-consumer recycled content. Also, as part of our carbon neutrality commitment, we are working to assess the GHG emissions associated with all of our packaging to support more informed decision making in support of our sustainability goals.
Lastly, seafood is a critical dietary component for over 3 billion people and a favorite ingredient in our recipes. How we source our seafood is crucial for ocean health. We partner with The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch®, a leading authority on seafood sustainability. As we monitor the sustainability of seafood, we aim to source as sustainably as is reasonably possible. This could mean sourcing from farms or fisheries with sustainability certifications from leading sustainability organizations, such as from Marine Stewardship Council, Aquaculture Stewardship Council or Best Aquaculture Practices or finding smaller fisheries who are involved in fishery improvement projects. Additionally, in March 2021, Blue Apron became the first meal kit company to join the Ocean Disclosure Project, a platform for voluntary seafood sourcing disclosures.
We will continue to find ways to share our love of the sea and shape our business practices with that value in mind. Share below ways that you show your love to the sea for World Oceans Day.
3,4. Doney, Fabry, V. J., Feely, R. A., & Kleypas, J. A. (2009). Ocean acidification: the other CO2 problem. Annual Review of Marine Science, 1(1), 169–192. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.marine.010908.163834