A framework for assessing and disclosing ocean practices

The Sustainable Ocean Principles

The Sustainable Ocean Principles aim at promoting the well-being of the ocean for current and future generations, and to emphasize the shared responsibility of businesses to take necessary actions to secure a healthy and productive ocean. Companies signing on to the Sustainable Ocean Principles commit to assess their impact on the ocean and integrate them into their overall strategy. The principles provide a framework for responsible business practices in the ocean. They build upon and supplement the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

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The Practical Guidances

The guidances complement and operationalize the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Principles for specific industry sectors. For each principle, the guidances provide a set of actions which can be implemented, exemplified by inspirational good practices. Each guidance includes an analysis of the sustainability challenges and opportunities of the sector. Practical Guidances for additional sectors are currently being developed.

NOTE: The Practical Guidances map current regulations, business standards and best and emerging practices for a particular sector. Under the auspices of the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform, the guidances have been mainly developed by companies operating within the sector. The guidances are dynamic working documents. They will be reviewed on a regular basis to follow new legislation, best business practices, higher standards and market innovations. Input, feedback and comments from all stakeholders are welcome. If you would like to contribute, please contact: ocean@unglobalcompact.org.

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In order for aquaculture to be a viable solution for meeting future food demands, and as a result of operating in common waters, the sector has a strong focus on social license to operate. This includes responsible and transparent operations to demonstrate its environmental and social performance. The farmed seafood value chain is complex and involves many levels, thus it is important to ensure transparency of operations and contracting, emphasized in this guidance document. Often, the industry operations are under local, national and international legislation. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the complexity of the legal landscape.

The scope of this document is aquaculture, defined here as farming of aquatic resources for human consumption. This does not include algae for fish feed or dietary supplements. This guidance is mainly intended to be applied to offshore and coastal open-pen production facilities focusing on seawater.

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Oil and Gas (O&G) operations are capital intensive and generally heavily regulated, both nationally and internationally. Because of the potential risks to human life and the environment associated with O&G operations, O&G industry organizations have produced guidelines or sets of best practices in countries where regulations may be incomplete or developing,. The guidance is mapping global guidelines and practices to help the sector implement the Sustainable Ocean Principles.

The scope of this document is all activities related to the exploration, production, processing, transport and commercialization of O&G products in the ocean.
At the end of 2020, the SBTi (Science Based Targets Initiative) will issue a guidance for Oil & Gas company emissions reduction targets to be aligned with the level of transformation required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. This edition of the Practical Guidance for Oil and Gas Activities does not include any specific references to emission reduction targets within that industry.

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The guidance in this document has a strong focus on offshore wind, which is currently the most utilized and mature power generation technology in the ocean. This guidance is also applicable to less mature technologies, such as wave, tidal and floating solar, where potential is recognized, and development is encouraged. These add diverse solutions for clean sustainable Ocean Renewable Energy (ORE) to the diverse communities and economies that exist in or by our ocean.

The guidance outlined herein has relevance to all activities related to: (1) The characterization of the ocean, ocean-atmosphere interface, and atmosphere over the ocean for the purpose of developing ORE; the construction and operation of ORE projects (2) The decommissioning of ORE projects; and (3) the manufacturing, shipping, transport, and logistics handling of components, parts, personnel, or elements of ORE, including the supply chain; in both the coastal and offshore areas of the global ocean.

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