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TNC and Republic of the Marshall Islands’ Pacific Island Tuna company Honorably Mentioned in Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards

Fishing vessels in the Marshall Islands at sunset.
Fishing vessels Majuro Harbor at sunset. © Chewy Lin

The winners of Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards were announced today, honoring clean technology, innovative corporate initiatives, brave new designs for cities and buildings, and other creative works that are supporting the growth of positive social innovation, tackling social inequality, climate change, and public health crises.

Pacific Island Tuna was named Honorable Mention in the Food Category and a finalist in the Nature and On the Rise categories of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas. The waters of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean produce 60 percent of the world’s tuna—a haul of nearly 3 million metric tons worth almost $7 billion each year. But overfishing and illegal fishing activities threaten to disrupt the global seafood supply and crush Pacific Island economies that rely heavily on tuna revenues.

By creating a new vertically integrated, sustainable end-to-end tuna supply chain company called Pacific Island Tuna, The Nature Conservancy is partnering with the Republic of Marshall Islands to reduce bycatch of baby tunas and at-risk species and to create a sustainable funding source for community-based conservation projects in the region. As a Republic of Marshall Islands based company, Pacific Island Tuna will ensure that Pacific Island countries have direct ownership of their tuna catch from the dock to retailers and that a portion of net income flows to community-based conservation projects.

The model, developed in collaboration with Bain & Company, also includes strict sourcing standards that match robust social and environmental sustainability commitments with best-in-class verification, meaning it benefits both people and planet. And, Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has chosen Pacific Island Tuna to supply it with Marine Stewardship Council-certified canned skipjack tuna for its in-house brand, Great Value.

Now in its sixth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 39 winners, 350 finalists, and more than 600 honorable mentions—with climate, social justice, and AI and data among the most popular categories. A panel of eminent Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 2,997 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, health, social justice, and more. In addition, several new categories have been added this year including climate, nature, water, and workplace. The 2022 awards feature entries from across the globe, from Switzerland to Hong Kong to Australia.

Fast Company’s Summer 2022 issue (on newsstands May 10, 2022) will showcase some of the world’s most inventive entrepreneurs and companies tackling global challenges. The issues highlight, among others, probiotics for coral reefs, easy-to-assemble kit homes for refugees or disaster survivors, a 3D printed vaccine patch, an electric truck, a system to heat homes from the waste heat of a name-brand factory, and prosecutor-initiated resentencing for overly long prison sentences.

“It’s really exciting to see this critical model — empowering Pacific Islanders and driving true partnership between producers and consumers — driving sustainability for our oceans for the long run. It’s an honor to be recognized alongside so many world-class innovative models and ideas for good,” said Noah Idechong, Executive Director of Micronesia and Polynesia, The Nature Conservancy.

“We are consistently inspired by the novelty and creativity that people are applying to solve some of our society’s most pressing problems, from shelter to the climate crisis. Fast Company relishes its role in amplifying important, innovative work to address big challenges,” says David Lidsky, interim editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists have identified some of the most ingenious initiatives to launch since the start of 2021, which we hope will both have a meaningful impact and lead others to join in being part of the solution.”

About the World Changing Ideas Awards: World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists, and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With the goals of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.