Corporates Pledge for Healthy, Productive Ocean
30 companies and institutional investors have signed up to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Sustainable Ocean Principles committing to take action to secure a healthy and productive ocean.
UNGC is a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact works with companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
The signatories to the principles include the container ship and supply vessel operator A.P. Møller – Mærsk, 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 this challenge.”
The Sustainable Ocean Principles were developed by the UN Global Compact Action Platform on Sustainable Ocean Business in consultation with stakeholders from the private sector, NGOs, academic institutions and UN agencies.
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 impacts.
The Sustainable Ocean Principles will be highlighted 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 action.”
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.
Other entities that have so far signed the Sustainable Ocean Principles include ABN AMRO, CEiiA, Cermaq, Cisco Systems, CoreMarine, DNB Bank ASA, DNV GL, Dow Inc., Empower, Equinor, Gard AS, Global Sea Mineral Resources, Government Pension Fund Norway, Grieg Maturitas AS, Kongsberg Gruppen ASA, Lloyd's Register, MAKEEN Energy, The New Zealand King Salmon, Nor-Shipping, Nordic Mining, Norwegian Guarantee Institute for Export Credits, Norwegian Shipowners Association, Ocean Bottle, Skretting, StormGeo, TATA NYK and Thorvald Klaveness. The full list is available here.
The principles provide a foundation for companies to engage in ocean sustainability in the lead-up to the UN Ocean Conference in June 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal, and beyond.