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Shaftesbury Partners with Project Zero to Make Carnaby the Most Ocean-Friendly Destination in London

Shaftesbury, owner of Carnaby in London, has partnered with ocean conservation charity Project Zero to inspire the business community of Carnaby to take action to protect our oceans. In the first year of the Blue Turtle initiative, 50 restaurants, bars and cafés pledged to eliminate avoidable single-use plastics, reduce waste and source sustainable seafood. Carnaby businesses who completed audits and put action plans in place were awarded the Blue Turtle mark to display in their venue, helping customers make informed choices.


Helping protect our oceans 


Engaging Carnaby occupiers and visitors


Supporting Shaftesbury’s sustainability goals and vision for Carnaby

“Our vision is for businesses and consumers in Carnaby to come together and make a real difference with their actions, leading by example and helping create a collective change for a more ocean-friendly London.” Simon Quayle, Director at Shaftesbury


Shaftesbury is committed to minimising environmental impacts and engaging with the communities in which it operates.

In 2019, we developed the Blue Turtle initiative with ocean conservation charity Project Zero to inspire the restaurant, bar and café community of Carnaby to take action to protect the ocean and create a sustainable future for our planet.

The ocean is Earth’s life support system, comprising 70% of our planet’s surface and giving us every drop of water we drink and every second breath we take. Today, the ocean is under attack from climate change, overfishing and plastic pollution. Our vision is for Carnaby to become the most ocean-friendly destination in London.


Shaftesbury and Project Zero developed the Blue Turtle mark of commitment to let people know that Carnaby eateries have met the criteria that helps safeguard our planet's life support system, the ocean.

We recruited a dedicated Blue Turtle team for the first year of the programme to support occupiers and drive progress. They also created an ocean-friendly toolkit to provide occupiers with information on sourcing sustainable products, services and suppliers, as well as local regulations and hands on support.

In the first year, 50 restaurants, bars and cafés in the Carnaby portfolio pledged to take action to protect our oceans:

  • Eliminating avoidable single-use plastic products, such as water bottles, straws, cutlery, take away containers, coffee cups and lids, food packaging, bowls and cups by 2022.
  • Providing and promoting free tap water access to all.
  • Reducing waste – minimising packaging and food waste, switching to reusable containers where possible, and engaging with customers and staff to increase recycling.
  • Sourcing only sustainable seafood – removing all endangered species from the menu, providing provenance information and ensuring all seafood comes from certified sustainable sources.
  • Representing over 70% of the restaurants in the Carnaby Village, the commitment from those that have adopted the Blue Turtle initiative has proven a solid platform to expand to other Villages in the portfolio.

Occupiers who committed to adopting a minimum of 12 ocean-friendly practices, carried out self-audits and put action plans in place were awarded a Blue Turtle mark to display in their venue. They are also training staff about the Blue Turtle initiative and sharing progress with the network. The Blue Turtle mark shows that an eatery is committed to being ocean-friendly and improving their practices, helping customers make informed decisions.

The Blue Turtle is run by Shaftesbury in collaboration with Project Zero and advised by an expert committee including ZSL, OneLess, Leon, Veolia, A Plastic Planet and Blue Marine Foundation. Occupiers who have been awarded the Blue Turtle award include The Rum Kitchen, Crumbs & Doilies, Bread Ahead, Jinjuu, Pure, Pizza Pilgrims, PITTABUN, Le Bab, Wright Brothers, The Diner, Darjeeling Express, The Detox Kitchen, Chai by Mira, Dirty Bones, Cahoots, Whyte & Brown, Island Poke, Señor Ceviche, The Good Egg, Soho Grind and Farm Girl.

Michele Clarke, Founder of Project Zero, says: “The Blue Turtle is a way for people to identify restaurants, bars and cafés who have adopted ocean-friendly practices. We feel extraordinarily lucky to be working with Carnaby, who are absolutely the perfect partner in the best place in London to launch the Blue Turtle. Individual actions really matter so we’re thrilled to be taking this important step towards restoring the ocean.”

The Blue Turtle is part of our wider sustainability programme across the Group. Other recent projects include the installation of the first West End water fountain in Carnaby’s Kingly Court, which saved the equivalent of 81,176 500ml plastic bottles in its first 18 months. We also run a successful food waste recycling programme in Carnaby, is building a dedicated waste and recycling facility in Chinatown, has strong community partnerships across the Group, and is greening its villages for biodiversity and wellbeing along with fellow members of Wild West End.


  • Helping protect our oceans by taking action to eliminate avoidable single-use plastics, reduce waste and source sustainable seafood, and empowering customers to make informed decisions
  • Supporting Shaftesbury’s sustainability strategy and vision for Carnaby to become the most ocean-friendly destination in London.
  • Engaging Carnaby occupiers, strengthening relationships and contributing to their sustainability goals.
  • In the six months since launch, this has seen a monthly average reduction in waste of 10 tonnes in Carnaby.


Feedback from occupiers

“We're thrilled to team up with Carnaby on its Blue Turtle initiative, not least because its aims really resonate with those we founded our business on: working closely with the Sustainable Restaurant Association to achieve the highest sustainability rating possible, we've always considered really carefully where we source our ingredients from, and worked hard to have a positive influence on our local community and as little impact as possible on the environment.” Alex Coppard, Co-founder of The Good Egg

“We’re delighted to be supporting Shaftesbury to launch the Blue Turtle scheme because we believe sustainability needs to go further than the produce we serve. We have a responsibility to act ethically for our people and suppliers too.” Sarah Clark, MD of Whyte and Brown.