Sustainabiity

Ocean First Awarded the Blue Certified Eco-Label

By OceanFirst on 3/22/16

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Today, Ocean First announced it has been awarded the Blue Certified eco-label. Ocean First joined the Blue Certified program because it wanted a proven step-by-step system to achieve more efficient business practices, increase cost savings, and attract more clients who care about the ocean. 

Developed by Ocean First Institute (OFI), in partnership with Sustainable Travel International, Blue Certified provides scuba dive operations with the tools to perform better for themselves, the environment, their local community, and their customers. The Blue Certified program team walked Ocean First through the 3 P's of business sustainability that include economic (profit), environmental (planet) and socio-cultural (people) best practices. The Blue Certification Award gives Ocean First bona fide recognition for its work as a sustainability leader in the dive industry. 

And pairing green travelers with green dive shops is great for business. “Ocean First was founded to support the community of ocean enthusiasts who are passionate about experiencing and preserving our marine environments. The Blue Certification recognizes our sustainability mindfulness and we are delighted to be a part of the growing community of blue dive operators.” says Graham Casden, Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of Ocean First. As part of the eco-certification, Ocean First completed the baseline level of the initial criteria and submitted evidence which was officially verified by OFI. 

With tourism and coastal development on the rise, potential negative impacts on communities and coral reefs are realities. But tourism can be a force for good by creating positive impacts as well. Blue Certified guides dive centers towards operating at an optimal level in all day-today operations and in relation to their biggest stakeholder, the ocean. 

“Dive operators are true stewards and guardians of the ocean,” shared Dr. Mikki McComb-Kobza, Executive Director of OFI. “They are deeply connected to it -- and want to protect it. Through their livelihoods, their customers and their day-to-day practices, these tourism businesses have an opportunity to protect what they love, while strengthening their market reach.” 

Added OFI sustainability consultant, Deby Stabler, “Imagine a vacation that improves the destination you are visiting. Tourist dollars can boost community economic development by hiring local staff and purchasing items within the area’s supply chain.” 

About Blue Certified

Blue Certified enables dive shops to plan for sustainability by using globally recognized criteria specifically designed for dive operators. With partnerships throughout the dive industry, the Blue Certified program is preserving the livelihood of the dive industry and the health of marine environments. For more information, visit www.oceanfirstinstitute.org.

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