Published 4 years ago.
About a 4 minute read.
Image: Russ Widger/Unsplash
In committing to the nine principles, companies pledge to take action to prevent pollution, manage their use of marine resources to ensure long-term sustainability, and be transparent about their ocean-related activities and
30 companies and institutional investors have signed up to the UN Global
Compact's Sustainable Ocean
Principles, committing to
take action to secure a healthy and productive ocean.
The signatories include companies from a wide array of industries, including
container ship and supply vessel operator A.P. Møller – Mærsk, tech giant
Cisco, global chemical producer Dow
Inc, food and beverage company
PepsiCo; and Norges Bank
Investment Management, which manages one of the world’s largest funds with
over US$1 trillion in assets.
“The rapid deterioration of ocean health — which deeply affects biodiversity,
coastal communities and the health of the planet — must be urgently addressed,”
said Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “The
deterioration is caused by human activity, and we need to create a tipping point
where a critical mass of businesses use their capacity and competence to solve
The Sustainable Ocean Principles were developed by the UN Global Compact Action
Platform on Sustainable Ocean
consultation with stakeholders from the private sector, NGOs, academic
institutions and UN agencies. In committing to the nine principles, companies
pledge to take action in the following areas:
Principle 1: Assess the short- and long-term impact of business activities
on ocean health and incorporate such impacts into strategy and policies.
Principle 2: Consider sustainable business opportunities that promote or
contribute to restoring, protecting or maintaining ocean health and productivity
and livelihoods dependent on the ocean.
Principle 3: Take action to prevent pollution affecting the
reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their operations to prevent ocean warming and
acidification, and work towards a circular economy.
Principle 4: Plan and manage their use of and impact on marine resources and
space in a manner that ensures long-term sustainability; and take precautionary
measures where their activities may impact vulnerable marine and coastal areas,
and the communities that depend on them.
Principle 5: Engage responsibly with relevant regulatory or enforcement
bodies on ocean-related laws, regulations and other frameworks.
Principle 6: Follow and support the development of standards and best
practices that are recognized in the relevant sector or market contributing to a
healthy and productive ocean and secure livelihoods.
Principle 7: Respect human-, labor- and indigenous peoples’ rights in the
company’s ocean- related activities, including exercise appropriate due
diligence in their supply chain; consult and engage with relevant stakeholders
and communities in a timely, transparent and inclusive manner; and address
Principle 8: Where appropriate, share relevant scientific data to support
research on and mapping of relevance to the ocean.
Principle 9: Be transparent about their ocean-related activities, impacts
and dependencies in line with relevant reporting frameworks.
The Sustainable Ocean Principles were highlighted last week at the Our Ocean
Conference 2019 in Oslo, as one of the
commitments businesses can make. Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Minister of Trade and
Industry of Norway — the host country of the conference — said, “Bringing the
private sector together as the UN Global Compact is doing, has a huge impact.
When finance, classification, insurance and the operating companies together set
the expectations higher, we as Governments should take that as a clear call to
Initially launched during the UN General Assembly in September, the Sustainable
Ocean Principles are intended to build upon and supplement the overarching Ten
Principles of the UN Global
Compact on human
rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. In January 2020, the UN Global
Compact will publish a set of practical guidance documents to support companies
in advancing ocean sustainability in different sectors.
“The growing threat that packaging waste poses to our communities and marine
environments is one that must be taken seriously and acted upon with urgency,”
said Simon Lowden, Chief Sustainability Officer of PepsiCo. “PepsiCo’s
is a world where plastics need never become waste; and through investment,
innovation and partnership, we will continue to do our part, working
aggressively on solutions toward a circular economy.”
Published Oct 29, 2019 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 12pm GMT / 1pm CET