November 20, 2018

World Benchmarking Alliance Prepares to Issue Seafood Stewardship Index

News Source: SDG Knowledge Hub

Author(s): Adam Fishman

5 November 2018: The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) of businesses, government partners and non-profit organizations announced a consultation on the methodology for the Seafood Stewardship Index (SSI), which will be the WBA’s first Index. The SSI will rank the 30 largest seafood companies globally by performance against the SDGs. WBA notes that 90% of all fish stocks are either overfished or fished at maximum capacity.

The SSI will consist of 30 “company score cards” that reveal the extent to which each company contributes to sustainable seafood production and trade. The companies are headquartered primarily in Asia, Europe and the US, and have been involved in the methodology development process, WBA notes.

The WBA’s first step towards launching the Index is a public consultation on a draft document introducing the scope, measurement areas and themes, indicators and weighting system. The document is currently available in English and Japanese. The consultation period runs from 22 October to 17 December 2018, and is open to all interested parties.

The proposed measurement areas include:

  • Governance and management of stewardship practices;
  • Stewardship of the supply chain;
  • Ecosystems;
  • Human rights and working conditions; and
  • Local communities.

Across these areas, companies’ behavior will be measured in three categories: commitment, transparency and performance. Indicators under each category draw on: the SDG targets; stakeholder expectations; the best available science; corporate reporting frameworks; sector-, product- and issue-specific initiatives; current industry best practices; and other existing benchmarks. An example of a “commitment” indicator under the governance measurement area is whether the company has a stewardship strategy that is implemented across its global operations.

SSI Lead Bas Geerts, WBA, anticipates that the consultation “will make the SSI methodology more robust as we continue to bring many different perspectives to the table.” The final ranking is expected to be released in late 2019, while the methodology will be published in March 2019.

The WBA was launched in September 2018, during Global Goals Week in the margins of the 73rd UN General Assembly. It is a multi-stakeholder coalition that aims to incentivize and accelerate private sector action on sustainable development. WBA is funded by Aviva and the governments of the Netherlands, UK and Denmark.