5 x Fascinating Marine-related Sustainable Business you probably haven’t heard about

Two thirds of our planet are covered by the sea, and to save the marine ecosystems while helping the economy we need more sustainable businesses built around them. From accessories made of fish skin to applying gypsum on the fields, here are some interesting examples of companies that successfully combine sustainable business with environmental protection.


Text: Maiju Aho

Photo: Lovia 

1. Dropp – the water bottle that does good

DROPP sells spring water bottles and re-usable waterbottles and donates no less than 100 % of its profits to support the environmental rehabilitation of the Baltic Sea. Since 2014, DROPP has donated close to 60.000 euros to its partners working for a healthy Baltic Sea. The idea behind DROPP is a fascinating example of what social enterprise can be and what committed individuals can achieve.

Read more! 

2. Lovia – accessories of fish skin

Lovia is a finnish accessory brand that combines high-end design with sustainability. It has a fully transparent production concept with trackable individual code that entails information of the product. Some of Lovia’s materials include salmon and perch skins, left as by-products of human food on Faroe Islands and processed into leather in Iceland. Lovia’s accessories made out of fish skin are beautiful example of sustainable luxury.

Check out the collection!

3. Pirkka saaristolaiskalapihvi – from trash fish to a beneficent delicacy

Pirkka Saaristolaiskalapihvi, or “archipelago steak”, is the first commercial fish product made of bream in Finland, launched by Kesko. What makes this fish steak special is the fact that in Finland bream has been considered as a “trash fish” for decades and fishermen have been throwing these fish back into the sea from traps. The product was developed as a part of John Nurminen Foundation’s NutriTrade Pilot Fish project. The catching of this fish removes phosphorus from the sea ecosystem. The product is a great example of reducing eutrophication (the enrichment of a water body with nutrients) of the Baltic Sea while being an easy option of how to eat in an sustainable way.

Read more:

Circulating nutrients with fish – something old or something new?

4. Project SAVE – promising pilot study of gypsum treatment on fields

Gypsum application on fields for reducing the phosphorus load originating from agriculture might reduce eutrophication of the coastal waters of the Archipelago Sea. SAVE is a joint project of the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Environment Institute. This method, which is even easy for farmers to apply, is implementated in a large-scale pilot that takes place in Savijoki river basin in Lieto and Paimio. The project is a significant example of research as earlier studies suggest that gypsum has the potential to significantly lower the phosphorus loading. Gypsum application on fields is also more cost-efficient in this lowering than any other water protection method currently in use.

Get to know the project!

5. Norsepower – harnessing wind to reduce carbon emissions

Norsepower has developed a rotor sail which is a spinning cylinder that harnesses wind to propel a ship, and this Finnish company is pioneering this wind propulsion technology for the global maritime industry. With favourable wind conditions the rotor sail helps to maintain ship’s speed and saves fuel and reduces emissions. Norsepower’s rotor sales we’re first sold to the Bore shipping company. This year one rotor sail will be installed to cruise ferry Viking Grace where it will reduce carbon emissions by circa 900 tonnes annually. These rotor sails are an interesting example of technology reducing greenhouse gas emissions of ships in a big scale.

Check it out!

And them some…

Also check out these surprising examples of how to use algae:

  • These algae cyber gardens, which are futuristic structures combining biology and architecture, are creating not only astonishment to viewer but also producing spirulina.
  • This green, glowy and beautiful living algae chandelier combines biotechnology and engineering and purifies the air indoors through photosynthesis.
  • This danish furniture project constitutes of chairs and lamps that are made using fucus, a common brown algae. This new, durable material is developed from seaweed and paper.

Want to come up with an idea of your own to help the Baltic Sea? There’s still time to apply for DEEP – Baltic Sea Challenge organized 9.–11.2. in Helsinki, aiming to find new marine related sustainable business and policy ideas towards a cleaner Baltic sea.

Register HERE by January 29th.