Canon’s Corporate ESG Strategy Supports Coral Reef Research

Credit: Canon Europe | An unusual partnership with the Coral Spawning Lab
Canon Europe Backs a Coral Reef Research Project, Acting as a Physical Carbon Offset With Long-Term Sustainability Implications for Years to Come

While environmental, social and governance (ESG) is a means of driving down the impact of an organisation, there are also means and ways for businesses to actively reduce carbon emissions from the atmosphere. 

We’re not talking about carbon offsets, although more companies believe that these are feasible ways of reducing their effects on the planet. Canon Europe, the arm of the business focusing on camera and technology development and sales for the continent, is now partnered with the Coral Spawning Lab in London, supporting research into the world’s first closed system coral spawning. 

The United Nations (UN) states that coral provides the equivalent of US$2.7tn of services every year, which includes its attractiveness—generating tourism—raw material supply for medicines, and ensures food security. However, the research will also likely reduce the drain on coral reefs as they are known to thrive off carbon dioxide, making them great for the race to net-zero. 

The Coral Spawning Lab is declared the “brainchild” of the Marine Biologist Dr Jamie Craggs, a Reef-keeper and expert in Aquarium Husbandry Vincent Thomas, and Professor in Aquatic Biology Dr Michael Sweet. 

What is the Meaning of Coral Spawning in Sustainability? 

There’s no doubt that the ocean is home to the world’s largest ecosystem with the power to sequester more carbon from the atmosphere than any other habitat on the planet. With this in mind, there is a huge emphasis on protecting coral, which is a natural mechanism for carbon capture. 

A team of researchers joined forces to study the life cycle of coral reefs, which could serve the planet’s efforts to curb climate change. The team will leverage state-of-the-art cameras and lenses from Canon as its contribution to the partnerships, showing just how organisations can use their own expertise to support the growing need for carbon reduction solutions. 

“At the lab we’re trying to replicate nature, but we’ve got so much more control. We are evaluating flow rates, feeding regimes, strength of lighting – what’s working, what’s not working,” says Dr Michael Sweet, Co-Founder of Coral Spawning Lab and Professor in Aquatic Biology at the University of Derby.

“The Equipment supplied by Canon is what allows us to meticulously monitor the life cycle of the coral, as well as helping us amplify our work to the world. We probably have a window of no more than eight years left to restore global coral reefs. If we don’t make a big impact by then, it is possibly too late.”

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Is coral reef research a form of carbon offset for Canon Europe? 

Support from Canon not only drives the project forward, but can also contribute to the company’s efforts to reduce emissions—i.e. Making great strides in such a crucial area of decarbonisation puts Canon in a unique position. 

“As an organisation that is committed to protecting the environment, we are excited to work with the talented team of researchers at the Coral Spawning Lab,” says Peter Bragg, Sustainability and Government Affairs Director at Canon EMEA. 

“It is heartening to see our state-of-the-art imaging equipment being used to help in the restoration and resilience of coral reefs across the world, a species that is crucial in the maintenance of a healthy ecosystem. Indeed, it is a great example of how organisations can be actively involved in maintaining the health of global biodiversity.” 

In literal terms, Canon’s contribution to the research could, and should, show rippling effects in terms of overall carbon emissions reduction through coral reefs. While carbon offsetting is generally a monetary exchange for a service that provides carbon benefits, such as tree-planting or carbon sequestration technology, the contribution that Canon made is likely to show returns in the years to come—and hopefully just in time to take effect. 

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