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

#ReboottheOcean Virtual Hackathons on the 5 Tipping Points for a Healthy and Productive Ocean by 2030

The UN Global Compact, alongside the UN Office of Information and Communications Technology and company partners, will host a series of virtual hackathons beginning in April as part of the #ReboottheOcean campaign. Virtual hackathons will be hosted on each of the 5 Tipping Points for a Healthy and Productive Ocean by 2030. During the 48-hour hackathon, participants will be mentored by subject matter experts from business, civil society, and UN agencies. Winners from each tipping point will be invited to present their ideas at the UN Ocean Conference.

More information on upcoming hackathons and registration can be found here.

Online High-Level Meeting on Sustainable Ocean Business

On 2 June, the UN Global Compact, together with UN partners, will convene an online High-Level Meeting on Sustainable Ocean Business and the 2030 Agenda.Senior executives from business, academia, civil society, the United Nations and Governments will be invited to participate in a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the role of businesses and governments to enable a healthy and productive ocean. Based on the upcoming report Ocean Stewardship 2030 the session will be organised around the 5 Tipping Points for a Healthy and Productive Ocean by 2030.

This meeting will be held as a professionally produced broadcast through the interactive platform Zoom. Speakers will be invited to take part in panels remotely.

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

From our Library

  • News