Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Coles helps protect the Great Barrier Reef

Coles and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation have announced a 10-year, $10 million partnership to help strengthen the regeneration and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.

Through the Blue Carbon Partnership, Coles will dedicate funds towards a number of projects based on ‘blue carbon’ – the process of capturing and storing carbon in oceanic or coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses. They are said to act like sponges that absorb carbon dioxide molecules from the air and have the potential to capture and store more carbon than tropical rainforests as well as hold it underground for centuries.

These projects include:

  • Working with farmers to reinstate a significant coastal wetland in the Great Barrier Reef catchment aimed to restore coastal habitats and serve as highly effective carbon sinks.
  • Developing the “first” large-scale seagrass nursery in partnership with “leading” seagrass researchers and traditional owners of the Reef and a demonstration site that can unlock the science needed to support seagrass restoration at scale.

Under the partnership, Coles will also engage customers, inspire team members and work with suppliers to raise awareness of the need to protect Reef habitats and ecosystems.

Coles CEO Steven Cain says unlocking Australia’s blue carbon potential by investing in projects that support revegetation and regeneration of coastal ecosystems is crucial to preserving the Reef.

“Coles’ partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation is all part of our ambition to become Australia’s most sustainable supermarket,” he says.

“On our path to Together to Zero emissions, we must look after the sea, land and air so they may be enjoyed by generations to come. The Great Barrier Reef is arguably one of the most cherished parts of Australia’s coastlines, and the investment in this partnership will unlock new learnings to further progress our Coles sustainability journey.”

Chief Scientist of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg adds: “We need the best science to develop bold, innovative ideas to protect coral reef habitats and slow the impacts of climate change, which is the biggest threat to the survival of the Great Barrier Reef.

“In addition to tackling the root cause of climate change, we must make reefs more resilient to the impacts of climate change that are already locked into the system.

“Coles’ partnership in blue carbon projects with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation is a prime example of the way we all can be working together to help the Reef and all its living diversity now and into the future. It is terrific to see one of Australia’s corporate greats generously engaging to solve one of the greatest challenges facing Australia.”

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