DALLAS, TX (December 3, 2020) – Last year, Mary Kay Inc., an international leader in corporate and social responsibility, announced the company had partnered with The Nature Conservancy to protect Texas fisheries and the Gulf of Mexico. Mary Kay is proud to announce they’ve expanded that partnership with The Nature Conservancy to impact waterways—and native species—the world over.
“All life on Earth began in and depends on our oceans,” said Deborah Gibbins, Chief Operating Officer at Mary Kay. “Water is the most valuable resource on our planet, and it’s essential that we do our part to protect it. When we began scaling our partnership with The Nature Conservancy last year, we focused on the waterways surrounding our home state of Texas. But we’re a global company, and we knew the need for support stretched far beyond the Gulf of Mexico. We’re thrilled to advance ecosystems and biodiversity conservation globally.”
Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization, working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy’s practices are rooted in science and are driven by pragmatic solutions to the most pressing conservation threats at the largest scale.
The conservation programs are as vast and diverse as the ocean life they’re designed to protect. Beyond the Texas fisheries program, Mary Kay will also support The Nature Conservancy through the following programs:
- Australia: In Northern Australia, Mary Kay will partner with indigenous communities to increase women’s role in conservation, including refining community-based healthy spatial development, working with government and non-government partners to scale up the adoption of conservation tools, and establishing a women’s camp at Fish River Station, a 445,000-acre property in the Northern Territory.
- New Zealand: In New Zealand, Mary Kay and The Nature Conservancy will engage with indigenous people in sustainable aquaculture, including supporting the implementation of restorative activities in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf to restore wild shellfish populations and launching a challenge fund to encourage greater philanthropic support for restoration of wildlife.
- Mexico: In Mexico, Mary Kay and The Nature Conservancy will partner on the Monterrey Water Fund, which will enhance watersheds and support women in the area. These improvements include irrigation systems, a substrate study, and the diversification of plant production.
- China: In China, Mary Kay and The Nature Conservancy will work to protect rural headwaters to secure clean drinking water for millions of people across the country. By 2021, the team will demonstrate five headwater production projects in Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, and one other province.
- General Ocean: The partnership will also mitigate plastic pollution in Indo-Pacific tuna fisheries. Together, they will work with leading plastic researchers to identify the fisheries that are the biggest contributors to ocean pollution so high-impact pilot programs and be put in place to mitigate pollution and clean up our seas.
- Solomon Islands: In the Solomon Islands, the partnership will protect turtles through female-led ecotourism of the South Pacific Ocean. Mary Kay’s contribution will help create a viable, locally run ecotourism venture in the Arnavon Islands that strengthens turtle conservation and provides equitable, sustainable financial returns to communities that are best positioned to protect endangered species.
- Colombia: Through the Bogota Water Fund, the partnership will improve water security for millions of people in Colombia.
- Canada: In Canada, Mary Kay and The Nature Conservancy will strengthen indigenous stewards by supporting current and future community leaders in traditional territories. This is an investment in a healthy future for these communities, their lands and waters for future generations.
- Europe: In the UK and Germany, the partnership will work to protect biodiversity and marine resources as they introduce the native European oyster. In Spain, the partnership will work to create a water fund—the country currently faces some of the worst challenges in terms of water scarcity and water quality.
“Sustainability has been at the core of our company since its inception in 1963, and Mary Kay has made huge strides in the past several decades in contributing to preservation of precious natural resources all over the world,” said Elke Kopp, General Manager of Mary Kay Germany, Switzerland and The Netherlands. “Economic development, industrial contamination, urbanization and intensive agriculture have placed increasing pressure on water resources in Europe. So, it is an organic partnership for us to collaborate with The Nature Conservancy to re-establish the oyster reefs in the North Sea and beyond.”
“We are extremely excited to support the restoration of the native European oyster in the United Kingdom with the expertise of The Nature Conservancy,” concurred Carolyn Passey, General Manager of Mary Kay United Kingdom and Ireland. “At Mary Kay we believe in giving back to the community and in creating a sustainable future for the generations to come. This important initiative will help build self-sustaining populations of native oysters which will help provide ecosystem services, sustainable fisheries, and increased biodiversity.”
“At Mary Kay, we are honored to partner with organizations such as The Nature Conservancy whose mission is to preserve the Earth’s most precious resources,” said Gema Aznar, General Manager of Mary Kay Spain. “Water has always been a sensitive issue in Spain, and it will be a matter of years before the situation becomes more difficult. As an environmental leader, we look forward to being part of the positive change by contributing to the launch of a water fund to help shape policies that consider sustainable solutions and mobilize a much-needed investment.”
“We need healthy, diverse oceans for fishing, working and playing,” said Lily Verdone, Director of Freshwater and Marine at The Nature Conservancy. “But protecting oceans is about more than just protecting our planet: oceans add $1.5 trillion to the global economy each year. Mary Kay has long worked to impact change that will sustain the earth for generations to come, so they are a natural—and welcome—partner for The Nature Conservancy. We’d already seen such impactful change in Texas, and we’re thrilled to see what their contributions will help us accomplish in communities across the world.”
Mary Kay also sponsored EarthxOcean conference, a livestreaming event that brought experts, researchers and conservations together in a livestream to discuss topics such as the High Seas Initiative, coral reef restoration, ocean plastic solutions and sustainable fisheries.