Companies and Ocean

Company mobilisation is necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined in 2015 by United Nations member states. The 2030 Agenda presents 17 goals which are interrelated, interdependent and even inseparable. 

The OCEAN APPROVED label is based on SDG14, which aims to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.

As the Ocean is at the crossroads of climate and biodiversity issues, working on SDG14 allows companies to work toward all other goals, including SDGs:

  • 13 : climate
  • 6 : fresh water
  • 2 : zero hunger
  • 3 : good health and well-being
  • 12 : responsible consumption and production
  • and 15 : life on earth.

Source Claudet et al. (2020)

All around the world, regulations are evolving and frameworks for Corporate Social Responsibility reporting are increasingly demanding and precise.

The European Union is proposing a new strategy toward a European sustainable blue economy for sectors and industries related to the ocean, seas, and coastal areas. A sustainable blue economy is essential to achieve the objectives of the Green Pact for Europe.

A series of measures have been adopted to better direct capital flows towards sustainable activities. The European taxonomy that will come into force from the end of 2021 has defined criteria to identify the economic activities that contribute most to the achievement of the EU’s environmental objectives. 

These six objectives are directly linked to ocean challenges. The OCEAN APPROVED label, fully aligned with the new regulations, gives companies an additional way to meet these enhanced obligations. 

The label also goes beyond and allows all companies, from all sectors and of all sizes, to identify their impacts on the ocean and avoid or reduce them.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Climate

The ocean: first climate regulator.

A true thermostat for the planet, it heats up and cools down very slowly. It can store heat at 1000 times the atmospheric capacity. By absorbing 30% of the CO2 emitted by humans, the ocean also reduces greenhouse gas effects and limits atmospheric warming.

The ocean: first victim of climate change.

The warming and acidification of oceans caused by human activity affect the thermal mechanics of our entire planet. They also cause large-scale migration of marine species, and the weakening or even the disappearance of vulnerable ecosystems.

Biodiversity

The Ocean is a biodiversity reservoir.

To date, only a small part of this biodiversity is known. And yet, it is crucial to human well-being and health: it represents the primary protein source for 1 billion people, and contributes to half of all cancer treatments.

Biodiversity is in danger:

As a result of climate change, all forms of water pollution, and the unsustainable exploitation of its resources, marine biodiversity is threatened: as evidenced by the disappearance of half of our corals, and mass extinctions of fish species and marine mammal species.

Economy

The world economy depends on healthy oceans.

One in two humans lives within 60 km from the sea, and 61% of global GDP is generated by activities located less than 100 km from the coast. Over 90% of world trade transits through sea and ocean routes. In France, the ocean contributes the equivalent of 14% of GDP to national wealth. Globally, the total ecosystem value of the ocean is estimated at more than $ 20,000 billion USD. Overexploitation of the oceans, climate change and loss of marine biodiversity pose a serious threat to this economic resource and to the hundreds of millions of associated jobs.

Anne-France Didier

SDG14 Steering Committee
French Ministry of the Sea

"Many companies now integrate sustainable development goals (SDGs) into their CSR strategy. But few of them refer to SDG14 specifically, and the interaction between different SDGs is not sufficiently taken into account either. Using the Ocean Framework to address SDG14 helps identify new actions to the benefit of other SDGs as well.”

Ignace Beguin Billecocq

Senior Manager Ocean and Climate
United Nations Global Compact

“The Ocean is an essential resource in reaching 2030 objectives. Change and accelerated action on behalf of all agents are necessary to best protect and utilize it. To incite companies to act in line with ‘UN Global Compact principles for a sustainable Ocean,’ the UN Global Compact publishes sector-specific practical guidelines which recommend the use of the Ocean Framework.”

Claire Jolly

Head of Ocean Economy Unit
OECD

“We must continue to sound the alarm on the dangers of poor management practices for marine environments, by offering concrete solutions, notably regarding economic models of sustainable management and novel sources of financing, all the while mapping opportunities linked to the sea. This is the purpose of the Ocean Framework.”

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