The Reef-World Foundation - the international coordinators of Green Fins - have led another series of successful Sustainable Diving events at ADEX Singapore (11-14 April 2019). These free events, which are relevant to all segments of the dive industry, are designed to change the way the industry works and break down barriers to implementing environmental practices.
This year, the events covered: technologies supporting sustainability, viable access to sustainable products, the impact of engaging local communities to support a dive operator’s sustainability quest and how businesses can effectively market their environmental policies to attract customers seeking green services. Please see below for an overview of the discussions:
Main Takeaways from the Events:
These events have inspired meaningful change in environmental practice and are valued by the industry
The industry wants access to information on suppliers offering ocean-friendly alternatives
Be more demanding of suppliers and push back against unsustainable practices
There needs to be better communication with manufacturers with regards to sustainability so they can be brought closer to this conversation
While it’s valuable to look at the bigger picture, participants also want to be able to focus on immediately actionable changes
The industry is keen to find ways of increasing visibility of and “selling” sustainability through press and social media channels
Give customers info about sustainability as soon as they book so they can prepare
Provide simple alternatives (e.g. metal straws) to encourage consumer change
Collaboration is key: engage local communities as well as other dive operators; build coalitions and work together to overcome challenges
Be positive rather than creating resistance - for example, making reef-sensitive sunscreen available and convenient rather than just banning chemical sunscreen
It’s hard to reward companies for being green but, frankly, we have to do it. Businesses will lose out in the long run if they don’t become more sustainable
Sustainability can be used as a marketing tool - magazines want positive “green” stories
Encourage customers to become involved in citizen science or environmental programmes - it’s also a great way to upsell additional courses etc.
This is going to become important to everybody: businesses, industry, consumers etc.
Several participants requested an ongoing network after ADEX for people to continue to learn, share ideas / contacts / suppliers and ask questions
Make mindful decisions based on robust data, not knee-jerk reactions
Vote with your wallet - everyone has the choice to demand sustainable products
Our industry depends on the ocean so we have to take care of it
The diving community has the power to make a change!