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Clear ambitions: 50 percent reduction of plastic pollution in three Philippine port cities by 2023.

Plastic waste is the world’s fastest growing environmental problem. More than one third of the world’s plastic waste ends up in nature. The challenges are particularly great in South-East Asia where urban areas and rivers account for a large proportion of the plastic that ends up in the sea.

– The Grieg Group is committed to creating global solutions that will secure a sustainable future for all, which includes restoring our oceans. We can’t do this alone, that’s why Grieg Foundation has partnered with WWF Norway. We believe that challenges are best solved through common effort. WWF Norway brings their expertise into solving the plastic problem and we look forward to working together with them, says Elna-Kathrine Grieg, Chair of Grieg Foundation.

Grieg Foundation and WWF will create a project with very clear ambitions – to reduce plastics by 50 percent in three major port cities in the Philippines by 2023.

– WWF and their expertise in this area is the right partner to collaborate with to achieve this ambitious goal. We have a shared understanding that it’s better to turn off the tap rather than picking plastics out of the ocean after it’s found its way there, says Elisabeth Grieg, Chair of Grieg Maturitas.

Why the Philippines
In 2019 the Philippines became the world’s third most plastic polluting nation, after China and Indonesia. The country’s plastic problem is enormous, with an annual flow of marine litter of about 0.75 million tonnes. This is the situation in a country where half of the 100 million inhabitants depend on fishing as their livelihood.

– We are focusing our efforts where the need is most pressing to achieve results. Working together with Grieg Foundation means drawing on competence across the whole Grieg Group. It is by collaborating in this way that we will see measurable results, says Chrisma Salao, Vice President, Conservation Programs at WWF Philippines.

The project will start with developing tools for local mapping and measurement of plastics in port cities, collaborating with local harbour port authorities and waste management organizations. Furthermore, schools will be involved in innovation projects, information campaigns towards local port communities will be implemented and employee programs for local organizations will be developed. Emphasis is also placed on engaging and educating companies that have a clear impact on the local plastic waste.

Knowledge first
Knowledge is at the heart of this project, where the Grieg Group contributes with valuable insights into the challenges from its global, ocean-based business.

– We at Grieg want to offer our knowledge, meet around the challenge, innovate and create solutions together. For us this is the definition of a true joint venture partnership where we, representing one company in the Grieg Group, shall contribute to the solution and work towards becoming part of the solution, says Matthew Duke, CEO Grieg Star.

– Collaboration with the corporate sector drives innovation, accelerates sustainable development creating conservation results. Here at WWF Norway we look forward to working with Grieg Foundation on restoring the oceans and solving our global plastics problem. With the support of the Grieg Foundation, together with the WWF Philippines, we can show how port cities can solve the problem of plastic waste, says Karoline Andaur, acting CEO at WWF Norway.

About WWF:
WWF is a global environmental organization working for a future where humans live in harmony with nature, and where no animals or other species will die due to human actions.
WWF has been awarded the TV-aksjonen (Telethon) for 2020, “Water without plastic saves lives”. The money raised will support work to permanently reduce plastic waste in the world’s oceans. The TV campaign will focus on four countries in Southeast Asia: the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

About Grieg Foundation:
Grieg Foundation is a benevolent foundation who owns 25% of the Grieg Group. The Foundation contributes substantial amounts to a wide range of activities, primarily to children and youth, culture and medical research. Through increased focus from the Grieg Group on how to contribute in solveing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the support form Grieg Foundation has slightly increased towards climate-related challenges.

About the Grieg Group:
The Grieg Group is a global group within various business segments such as shipping, fish farming, shipbroking, logistics and asset management. The group is represented in 14 countries globally and has more than 2.000 employees, were as all seafarers are from the Philippines.