Case Study: Oyster Recovery Partnership – Perdue

Case Study: Oyster Recovery Partnership – Perdue

Perdue initiated its associate-level support for the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) in 2009. The Oyster Recovery Partnership aligned with Perdue’s values especially its value of stewardship. ORP was making a concrete contribution to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay by restoring the oyster populations that are the bay’s natural filters and the company’s chairman, Jim Perdue, was on their board. The company provides financial support to the partnership through the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the company’s charitable giving arm. Most importantly, partnership created volunteer opportunities for associates to personally impact the oyster recovery efforts.

Jim Perdue, who has a Doctorate in Fisheries, is a personal champion of oyster recovery as a key to restoring the Chesapeake Bay. He has instilled in many associates an understanding of the importance of oyster recovery. His enthusiasm has encouraged associates to take ownership of recruiting volunteers, making it a true grassroots effort. These inspired associates sponsored and promoted family-friendly shell-bagging events, creating hands-on engagement opportunities. Internal promotion of the events, including photographs and video, helped drive additional employee awareness. Associates also appreciated that their efforts were going to a support a natural resource – the Chesapeake Bay – that they, as residents of the Bay region, value.

Since 2009, over 350 Perdue volunteers on Delmarva have filled more than 5,400 shell bags, which were, in turn, used by the Oyster Recovery Partnership to nurture spat (oyster larvae attached to shells), which were raised by community volunteers.

[This case study was featured in the GEMI Quick Guide for Engaging Employees in Sustainability.]

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