Dr Darian McBain is a sustainable ocean economy advocate. She is the Global Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at Thai Union, a multi-billion dollar listed seafood producer in Bangkok. Dr McBain has created their first global sustainability strategy, SeaChange, mandating responsible sourcing, reduced emissions, water use and energy waste at factories and supporting employees and local communities. Growing up near the ocean in Australia, Dr McBain is an environmental engineer passionate about the world below the sea. She believes the degradation of the oceans is a tragedy of the commons, in that no one is definitively accountable for the oceans. Dr McBain has launched Thai Union’s global tuna commitment to minimize and mitigate impact on the ecosystem. She also set up a partnership with The Nature Conservancy for supply-chain transparency and onboard monitoring on supplier vessels, with sustainability-linked loans tied to sustainable performance. She led an initiative to clean up discarded fishing gear in the ocean and helps run Thai Union’s Green Team of internal sustainability advocates. A 2019 company survey found that the staff perceived sustainability as Thai Union’s biggest strength.
Dr McBain’s work has been widely recognised. She received the Edie Sustainability Leader of the Year Award 2018, the Ethical Corporation 2018 Responsible Business Leader of the Year, SeaWeb Seafood Leader of the Year for Vision 2019, CSR Asia’s Sustainability Superwomen 2019, Anti-Slavery Australia’s Freedom Award 2019, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business for 2020, Harvard Business Council 2020 International Business Excellence Professional Award and was named a United Nations Global Compact Sustainable Development Goal Pioneer for 2021.
‘I look around and I see the destruction of nature, and significant inequality in global supply chains and it motivates me to try to find sustainable solutions to society’s challenges rather than just looking at the problems.’