VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Marine ecosystems are vital to the environment at large, and Nestlé aims to support their conservation through a recent investment in the Ocean 14 Capital Fund I, a blue economy organization supporting sustainable, regenerative practices in marine-based sourcing activities and promoting ocean preservation.

Nestlé facilitated the investment through its Sustainability Fund, which supports partners of the company who have contributed to its net zero goals.

The announcement is part of Nestlé’s overarching sustainability strategy and pays particular homage to its Purina PetCare portfolio, which relies on fish byproducts to create a portion of its products. By investing in the Ocean 14 Capital Fund I, Nestlé has committed to exploring lower-carbon ingredients and alternative proteins, fine-tuning sustainable practices across its value chain, and safeguarding marine ecosystems from which it sources.

According to Nestlé, the Ocean 14 Capital Fund I is guided by the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 14: Life Below Water. The mission of this SDG is to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”

According to the UN, ocean ecosystems are facing a number of critical challenges including coastal eutrophication, ocean acidification, warming and sea levels rising, plastic pollution and overfishing. Some solutions that have emerged involve adopting alternative proteins, rethinking aquaculture practices, reducing plastic waste, implementing more sustainable wild fishing practices, and working to preserve marine flora and ocean habitats.

“The world’s oceans have suffered from overfishing, pollution and climate change, resulting in the dramatic loss of marine habitats,” said Dan Smith, head of Nestlé Purina's Global Business Unit. “That’s why we are delighted to collaborate with the Ocean 14 Capital Fund I, a visionary partner that is at the forefront of exploring this field. Together, we aim to drive innovation and create positive change by preserving and harnessing the power of the ocean’s resources to ensure a more sustainable future. We recognize the potential within the blue economy and are dedicated to seizing the opportunities it presents.”

Nestlé Purina has taken several other steps toward marine sustainability in recent years, including the recent launch of its inaugural Ocean Restoration Program, which will operate in Europe in an effort to correct marine biodiversity loss. In 2023, the company became a founding sponsor of The Bycatch Solutions Hub, a program by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership aiming to reduce the accidental capture of sharks, marine mammals, sea turtles and seabirds — or “bycatch” — while fishing for other species. Purina is also backing an ongoing consortium study to test the impact of seaweed-derived bio-stimulants in regenerative agriculture, according to the company.

“We are thrilled to have Nestlé on board as our partner in driving the transformation of the blue economy,” said Chris Gorell Barnes, co-founder of Ocean 14 Capital. “Oceans are the critical life-support system for life on earth. If it’s not functioning it will be game over for humanity. Nestlé’s investment in the Ocean 14 Capital Fund I showcases their support to make the blue economy sustainable and regenerative, to protect and restore the oceans’ health and make sure this vital economy can prosper.”

Read more about sustainability efforts across the pet food and treat industry.