Action Platform

Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform

Mobilize businesses for a productive and healthy ocean

The Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform of the United Nations Global Compact convenes leading actors from business, academia and Government institutions to determine how ocean industries can advance progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The work of the platform also builds upon the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, which outline business responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Why Sustainable Ocean Business?

The ocean is vital to the well-being and prosperity of humankind. To achieve the global ambitions outlined in the SDGs, we are facing a need to expand our use of the ocean to produce food, energy and raw materials, as well as support transportation. Carrying out these activities in a sustainable manner will contribute to reducing global warming and environmental degradation. Today, threats such as overfishing, marine litter and acidification have put the health of the world’s ocean in a very fragile state.

Maintaining healthy ocean environments is a fundamental precondition for business to operate long-term, and addressing current challenges provides a significant business opportunity.

Join the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform to:
  • Develop a "Framework for Leadership for the Global Goals and the Ocean": Facilitate the development of a business leadership framework on the ocean, seas and marine resources.
  • Inspire partnership and local action: Expand successful existing partnerships at the country-level and foster innovative solutions to advance the implementation of the Global Goals through ocean sustainability.
  • Engage in advocacy and public policy: Design policy advocacy toolkits on critical issues.
  • Map and gather new data: Map industry-level impact on sustainable ocean development.

Ensuring a healthy ocean provides significant opportunities for business and global economic growth

Businesses have a shared responsibility, alongside Government and civil society, to take necessary actions to secure a healthy ocean. By contributing to research, development and deployment capabilities, and by providing new products, services and business models, companies can negate harmful impacts on ocean ecosystems and contribute to their restoration.

As a resource for sustainable growth, renewable energy, food and climate action, protecting the health of our ocean holds significant potential to support the achievement of the Global Goals. Moreover, there is broad recognition that sustainable use of the ocean must go hand-in-hand with Goal 14: Life Below Water.

The UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform will focus on growth, innovation and sustainability, exploring how to best protect the health of the ocean. It aims to mobilize the private sector to take tangible action, make investments and form partnerships to leverage the ocean as a resource to deliver the Global Goals.

Platform Activities

The Sustainable Ocean Principles
Ocean Governance and Regulation

The Action Platform has, in consultation with more than 300 stakeholders worldwide, developed the Sustainable Ocean Principles to emphasize the responsibility of businesses to take necessary actions to secure a healthy and productive ocean..

Sign the Sustainable Ocean Principles and commit to ocean sustainability

Launched in September 2018 in collaboration with DNV GL and the Stockholm Resilience Centere, the working paper provides a comprehensive overview of the current multi-lateral rules and regulations for the ocean. In addition to outlining current mechanisms in place for ocean governance, the paper also identifies potential gaps in certain areas. The report will be updated for the 2020 UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon

Global Goals, Ocean Opportunities
5 Tipping Points for a Healthy and Productive Ocean

Launched in June 2019, the report outlines the linkages between a healthy, productive and well-governed ocean and the 17 Global Goals. The report further elaborates on how private sector innovation and investment, together with strong public and private governance frameworks, could exponentially increase the amount of sustainable ocean resources, including healthy food, affordable clean energy, and more efficient and lower-carbon transport.

A healthy and productive ocean can accelerate our ambitions to achieve all 17 Global Goals. Five tipping points will be key to accelerate progress: fully traceable seafood, set sail for zero, ocean electricity, mapping the ocean and zero plastic entering the ocean.

Platform Events

Second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference, 5 to 7 May, Beijing

This meeting will provide an opportunity to focus on both the challenges and ways forward when it comes to addressing and achieving sustainable transport objectives. The meeting is expected to highlight the role sustainable transport can play in realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. There will also be a special session dedicated to shipping and finance. More information and updates will be available soon.

#RebootTheOcean Innovathon with UNTIL and CEiiA, 31 May to June 1, Lisbon

The #RebootTheOcean Innovathon is a social innovation and coding event taking place on a beach just outside of Lisbon. Young programmers and scientists will gather together to build upon or create new software using open data and digital solutions to address the “5 Tipping Points for a Healthy and Productive Ocean”. Both mentorship and interactive meetings are scheduled to take place during the event.

2020 UN Ocean Conference, 2 to 5 June 2020, Lisbon

Co-hosted by the Governments of Portugal and Kenya under the title “Scaling-Up Ocean Action Based on Science and Innovation for the Implementation of Goal 14: Stocktaking, Partnerships and Solutions,” the 2020 UN Ocean Conference will mark a major milestone for the private sector to show its commitment to a healthy and productive ocean and its support for the Sustainable Ocean Principles.

The UN Global Compact will be organizing series of events, including five high-level meetings based around the “5 Tipping Points”. This will be done in coordination with the host nations Portugal and Kenya, as well as with other UN organizations and initiatives.

Companies interested in attending the Conference must apply to receive special accreditation by 10 March, 2020, under the following link:

Getting Involved

1. Sign the Principles

You can sign the Sustainable Ocean Principles on our Ocean Action webpage and join us by taking action for both a cleaner and healthier ocean.

2. Join a Guidance Working Group

You can join a guidance working group and help us determine key and tangible actions for each sector, as well as how to implement the Principles in practice. The sectors covered include: ocean renewable energy, aquaculture, oil and gas, shipping, fisheries, marine minerals, shipyards, the arctic, land-based pollution (including plastic and nutrients). For more information please contact

3. Ocean Governance and Regulation Report: New Version – Consultations

In this new report to be presented at the 2020 UN Ocean Conference, we will be looking at what is needed from businesses, Governments and scientists to reach the “5 Tipping Points for a Healthy and Productive Ocean”. The outcomes will serve as recommendations from the private sector to governments, while helping advance progress towards defining an agenda of action for businesses. Working groups are currently identifying the following three dimensions for each of the “5 Tipping Points”: i) calls for action, ii) critical ambitions or KPIs, and iii) key inspiring examples. For more information please contact:


Mr. Erik Giercksky

Mr. Ignace Beguin

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