Population and global consumption have grown exponentially. Man is having a negative impact on natural habitats and biodiversity. Our own survival depends on the preservation of existing ecosystems. This is called sustainability. Unsustainable fishing and agricultural practices could limit the future availability of resources. We have a moral duty to protect biodiversity and natural habitats of planet Earth for future generations.
This is the mission of the World Sustainability Organization – an Industry independent international NGO advocating environmental protection by means of international sustainability certifications, conservation projects, and campaigns.
The World Sustainability Organization at a Glance
The World Sustainability Organization was founded in 2008 by environmentalist Paolo Bray, a longtime director of international programs of the dolphin-safe tuna project, a precursor of food sustainability certifications. The World Sustainability Organization has developed and manages Friend of the Sea and Friend of the Earth, two major international certifications for sustainable products and services.
Over 1,000 companies from more than 70 countries have products certified Friend of the Sea or Friend of the Earth.
Among them are some major retail chains, artisanal small-scale producers, and multinationals. According to a study commissioned by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Friend of the sea is the leading international sustainability certification for products from both fisheries and aquaculture.
It is also the only certification that can with the same seal of approval, potentially certify sustainable products from both fisheries and aquaculture. Friend of the Sea is the only certification program of this kind recognized by all national accreditation bodies.
Friend of the Sea certified seafood products must originate from stocks which are:
- Not overexploited with selective gears
- Without any bycatch of endangered species
- Respecting strict social accountability requirements
By playing a leading role in enforcing these requirements:
- Aquaculture cannot be developed with detriment to sensible habitats such as wetlands and mangrove forests.
- It must minimize the use of antibiotics feed.
- Water and energy industrial vessels must have additional independent onboard observers or closed-circuit TVs.
Reaching Millions With The Message of Sustainable Living
Friend of the Earth is an international certification program for products from sustainable agriculture and farming. Friend of the Earth certified products cannot originate from agricultural sites developed to the detriment of important natural habitats. Integrated pest management practices must be implemented and wild fauna and flora protected. Animal farming must consider animal welfare and feed must originate from sustainable agriculture.
Friend of the Earth standards includes social accountability criteria to ensure respect for farmers and employees. Audits are carried out on-site by qualified inspectors frequent surveillances and DNA testing ensures continuous compliance.
Both the Friend of the Sea and Friend of the Earth seals of approval can certify by means of specific standards products and services which respect the marine environment and our planet. Friend of the Sea certifies fish and insect meal, fish oil, omega-3 supplements, sea salt, ornamental fish and aquaria, shipping dolphin and whale watching, operators, and beaches. Friend of the Earth certified sustainable agricultural and farming food products as well as products from sustainable forests textiles and many others.
Certified products are promoted in various ways by the World’s Sustainability Organization.
- Friend of the Sea and Friend of the Earth have frequently gained the attention of international media.
- WSO certified products are promoted at major international trade shows.
- One-to-one meetings allow networking between certified producers and buyers of retail and catering chains.
- Point-of-sale awareness activities help consumers understand the value of the certification.
- Companies themselves often highlight certified products on TV advertisements and other media outreach.
Restaurant serving certified products are promoted by the sustainable restaurants’ program, rewarding those restaurants that embrace sustainability by using Friend of the Sea or Friend of the Earth certified products. A dedicated app allows consumers to find the closest sustainable restaurant.
The World Sustainability Organization also supports and develops conservation projects and campaigns for the protection of endangered species, endangered butterflies, snails, sturgeons, dolphins, whales, albatross, monk seals.
Consumer and future generations’ awareness
School projects have been carried out globally as well as beach cleaning activities. A specific website area named sustainable friends helps networking between international conservation projects and provides immediate information regarding the sustainability performance of products and services. The sustainable production movement has just started and consumers have to untangle the jungle of self claims and unverified certifications.
WSO certifications are verified by international accreditation bodies and provide an easy to grab message for consumers backed up by awareness programs and proactive conservation projects. Overfishing, unsustainable agricultural practices, and human pressure on resources can determine a negative environmental and social impact. The world’s sustainability organization by means of Friend of the Sea and Friend of the Earth helps consumers to make sustainable choices. In turn producers and retailers will respect workers and the environment. We can all contribute to the conservation of our beautiful planet. We can all be sustainable friends