Dr Heather Koldewey

Dr Heather Koldewey

Head of Global Conservation Programmes
Zoological Society of London

Project Ocean is an innovative and ground-breaking partnership between the luxury London department store, Selfridges and the Zoological Society of London to bring ocean conservation to new audiences and change consumer buying habits. Project Ocean has three objectives:

  • Raise awareness of overfishing.
  • Change people’s buying and eating habits.
  • Raise money and awareness for marine reserves.

From 2011, this conservation-marketing experiment launched the concept ‘retail activism’ and brought together 22 NGOs as well as celebrities, scientists, royalty, fishing industry representatives, youth-group leaders, parliamentarians, heads of state, artists, fashion designers and musicians.

Since the launch of Project Ocean, Selfridges has led by example and influenced many of its suppliers on a number of marine issues, including commitment to only stock sustainably-sourced fish in its Food Hall and restaurants, the removal of all beauty and cosmetic products containing shark il or shark by-products and addressing the issue of marine plastics through better retail ‘plastic practice’.

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About the speaker

Heather Koldewey started working for the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in 1995, initially as a research scientist, then as curator of the ZSL London Zoo Aquarium and currently as Head of Global Conservation Programmes. She finds solutions through interdisciplinary research and conservation action on the interface between communities and environment.

HK2 Examples of this include; co-founding Project Seahorse, which is recognized as the world’s leading authority on seahorses; developing Net-Works, an award winning project that has developed a novel community-based supply chain for discarded fishing nets that are recycled into carpet tiles (with Interface Inc) addressing issues of marine debris and poverty alleviation in coastal communities; and Project Ocean – retail activism in action, an innovative and ground-breaking partnership between luxury London department store, Selfridges and ZSL to bring ocean conservation to new audiences and change consumer buyer habits.

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