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Sustainable Ocean Principles

2020 UN Ocean Conference postponed
Portugal and Kenya, as Co-Hosts of the UN Ocean Conference, are planning to postpone the 2020 United Nations Ocean Conference to a later date as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates on this will be made available as soon as possible. More information can be found on the UN Ocean Conference website.

A standard for healthy and productive ocean

As described in Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water, there is an urgent need to protect and restore the health of the ocean, which is rapidly deteriorating due to increasing temperatures, acidification, depletion of natural resources and pollution from land and sea. Businesses have a shared responsibility, alongside Government and civil society, to take necessary actions to secure a healthy ocean.

These Sustainable Ocean Principles, produced in consultation with over 300 stakeholders, provide a framework for responsible business practices across sectors and geographies. They build upon and supplement the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Signatories of the Principles

Sign the Sustainable Ocean Principles

5 Tippings Points for a Healthy and Productive Ocean by 2030

Deliver on the 17 Global Goals

The 2019 report Global Goals, Ocean Opportunities,

produced in consultation with over 300 stakeholders, identified five tipping points that represent a set of tangible objectives to address ocean sustainability challenges:

  • Fully traceable sustainable seafood
  • Set sail for zero
  • Harnessing ocean electricity
  • Mapping the ocean
  • Ending waste entering the ocean

As we approach 2020 and the decade of delivery for the 17 Global Goals, we must leverage ocean sustainability, not only to protect the ocean itself, but to ensure both people and planet can prosper and thrive.

"The ocean provides food, energy, water, jobs and economic benefits for people in every country, even those that are landlocked. It is a crucial buffer against climate change, and a massive resource for sustainable development. The health of our oceans and seas is inextricably linked with the health of our planet and all life on Earth" - Secretary General Antonio Guterres

5 Tipping Points Brochure

Global Goals, Ocean Opportunities

The ocean is key to achieving the Global Goals

To solve the ocean challenge, the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform is proud to launch the Global Goals, Ocean Opportunities report — laying out how the ocean can be the key to achieving the Global Goals.

All sectors of society must work together to leverage ocean sustainability, not only to protect the ocean itself, but to ensure people and planet can prosper and thrive. Through our Action Platform on Sustainable Ocean Business, the UN Global Compact will continue to work with all partners to drive business action for the ocean, helping to fulfil the core promise of the 2030 Agenda: leave no one behind.


UN Global Compact Urges Businesses to Take Fast Action on Ocean Health, Triple Pundit

Sustainable Ocean Principles – a collective industry response to a global challenge, Gard

The UN Wants Companies to Stop Ruining the Ocean, Global Citizen

Press Release Our Ocean Conference 2019

United Nations Global Compact launches principles for sustainable ocean business

The private sector must take urgent action to stop the deterioration of ocean health, says new report

Executive Update: Clear Targets for a Clean Ocean


Mr. Erik Giercksky

Mr. Ignace Beguin

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