The Private Sector Must Take Urgent Action to Stop the Deterioration of Ocean Health, Says New Report

Ensuring a healthy, productive and well-governed ocean provides significant opportunities for business and global economic growth
Jun 4, 2019 12:05 AM ET
Press Release

UNITED NATIONS, N.Y., June 4 2019 /3BL Media/ — Private companies have a vested interest in maintaining and improving the health of the ocean, according to a new report published by the United Nations Global Compact and developed in consultation with 300 representatives of business, civil society and academia. A healthy marine environment is not only necessary for many companies’ long-term operations, but it can offer significant business opportunities too.

“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 & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “The deterioration is caused by human activity, and we need the capacity and competence of the business community to solve this challenge.”

Climate change is the overarching threat to ocean health, which is also under pressure from the over-exploitation of natural resources, habitat destruction, pollution and marine littering. According to the new Global Goals, Ocean Opportunities report, tackling these challenges will require substantial coordination between Governments and ocean industries as well as their land-based counterparts.

Private sector innovation and investment, together with strong public and private governance frameworks, could exponentially increase the amount of sustainable resources delivered from the ocean, including healthy food, secure and affordable clean energy, and more efficient and lower-carbon transport. It could also enable the sustainable mining of abundant seabed minerals vital to technologies needed for decarbonizing human activities.

The consistent implementation and enforcement of international ocean regulations is key to how ocean industries can deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. “The UN Global Compact Action Platform on Sustainable Ocean Business has brought diverse companies, civil society organizations and Governments together to find new ways for companies to navigate the ocean challenge, using our Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption as their North Star,” Kingo said.

Launched today by Lise Kingo and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the Nor-Shipping 2019 conference in Oslo, the Global Goals, Ocean Opportunities report was developed by the UN Global Compact in collaboration with DNV GL and an editorial board consisting of members of the UN Global Compact Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business.

About the United Nations Global Compact

As 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, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact guides and supports the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. With more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 70 Local Networks, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.

For more information, follow @globalcompact and #OceanAction on social media and visit our website at

See the full report at:

Leila Puutio
UN Global Compact
+1 (646) 884-7523
Erik Giercksky
UN Global Compact