Following on the news about the 12th and latest edition of the Greenpeace Greener Electronics scorecard released today, the organization yesterday released the third iteration of its Sustainable Seafood scorecard, as well as a hefty report about how overfishing is destroying not just ecosystems and the environment, but threatening the future of the fishing industry itself.
And while there is some progress happening, according to the report's authors, there is plenty of room for improvement: even though over half the supermarket chains profiled have made at least some efforts at reexamining their seafood sourcing policies, not one of the 20 companies profiled earned more than a (barely) passing grade of six out of 10 points.
The report grades retailers on a number of categories, from company policies around seafood sourcing, support for green seafood initiatives, labeling of sustainable seafood, and removing so-called "Red list" fish from its stores. Red-listed fish, some of which are profiled on the Greenpeace website, are those whose stocks are dwindling or depleted; are fished using methods destructive to ecosystems, habitats, non-target fish populations, or fishing communities; or are fished in illegal, unregulated and unreported ways.
The best retailer of the bunch, Wegman's, earned a score of 5.9 because of its publicly available sustainable seafood policy, support for sustainable seafood initiatives, labeling of its sustainably sourced seafood, and its slow but noticeable progress on removing red-listed fish from its stores.
Following close behind is Ahold USA, the parent company for Stop & Shop and Giant supermarkets in the U.S. The company earns accolades in the report for its 10-point sustainable seafood policy, as well as its labeling practices and removal of some red-listed fish.
In third place is Whole Foods, with a 5.6 score. In the two previous versions of the scorecard, Whole Foods was the top-ranked retailer, but lost its place in this iteration in large part because of its continued sales of red-listed seafood.
The lowest score among national grocers went to Trader Joe's for the third time in a row. With a score of 1.0 points, the company landed ahead of regional chains Meijer, Price Chopper and H.E.B., but Trader Joe's has long had a green halo in the minds of shoppers: A report released earlier this year by GreenBiz.com found that Trader Joe's was one of nine companies most highly regarded from a sustainability standpoint.
You can download the full report from GreenBiz.com; the list of the 20 retailers, and their rankings, are below.
2. Ahold USA (Stop & Shop, Giant)
3. Whole Foods
5. Safeway (Dominicks, Genuardi's, Pavilions, Randall's, Vons)
6. Harris Teeter
8. Delhaize (Bloom, Food Lion, Hannaford Bros., Sweetbay)
9. Kroger (Baker's, City Market, Dillon's, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, Ralph's, Smith's, Quality Food Center - QFC)
12. A&P (Food Emporium, Pathmark, Super Fresh, Waldbaum's)
13. Supervalu (Acme, Albertson's, Bristol Farms, Jewel-Osco, Save-A-Lot, Shaw's)
14. Giant Eagle
17. Trader Joe's
19. Price Chopper
20. H.E. Butt (H.E.B., Central Market)