Coles pledges $10 million to protect an Aussie icon

Coles has announced it will invest $10 million to help regenerate and preserve the Great Barrier Reef.

Joining forces with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the 10-year Blue Carbon Partnership aims to help mitigate the impacts of climate change and protect marine ecosystems across the iconic stretch of reef.

"Blue carbon" refers to the process of capturing and storing carbon in oceanic or coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses, which help in the fight against climate change.

Coles employee Thinus Keeve working with man and woman in mangrove wetland
Coles' Blue Carbon Partnership aims to help protect marine ecosystems across the iconic Great Barrier Reef. Source: Supplied

Blue Carbon Partnership to fund reef restoration

Coles will dedicate funds towards a number of projects based on blue carbon, including coastal habitat restoration and creating seagrass nurseries to serve as highly-effective carbon sinks.

"Unlocking Australia's blue carbon potential by investing in projects that support revegetation and regeneration of coastal ecosystems is crucial to preserving the reef," said Coles CEO Steven Cain.

The Blue Carbon Partnership is the latest sustainability push for Coles, which aims to "become Australia's most sustainable supermarket".

Sea turtle swims alone in the Great Barrier Reef
Coles will invest $10 million towards a number of "blue carbon" projects. Source: Supplied

The retailer recently launched a carbon-neutral beef product range and has pledged to deliver net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Mr Cain said that we must look after the sea, land and air so they may be enjoyed by future generations.

"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," he said.

Great Barrier Reef perfect for blue carbon projects

Australia has some of the greatest potential for storing blue carbon anywhere in the world given its coastline, climate and rich reef systems – and there is no greater example than the Great Barrier Reef.

Thinus Keeve in red shirt, standing with arms crossed, smiling, on tropical beach
Thinus Keeve, Coles' Chief Sustainability, Property and Export Officer, said the retailer is making great strides in its Together to Zero emissions ambition. Source: Supplied

Thinus Keeve, Coles' Chief Sustainability, Property and Export Officer, said the retailer's partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation marks the latest phase in its commitment to show leadership on sustainability.

"Our investment in the regeneration and revegetation of coastal ecosystems will help build the resilience of the Reef and deliver projects that can make a difference at a meaningful scale," he said.

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