Sustainable Development Goals

The World Ocean Council (WOC) works with the industry and especially its members to develop meaningful, practical targets that can link the realities of responsible ocean business operations to the broad, aspirational Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Adopted by the U.N. in 2015, the SDGs provide 17 ambitious goals to guide global development from 2016 to 2030. One of the goals – the “Ocean SDG” – aims to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.


The World Ocean Council (WOC) was the only ocean business organization consistently engaged in the SDG process and produced a Report for WOC Members analysing the SDG’s business implications and opportunities.

Ocean industries received an insider briefing on the SDGs at the 2015 WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS) and have the opportunity to discuss the SDG 14 at the SOS 2017. The SOS 2017 theme was “The Ocean Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 14): Business Leadership and Business Opportunities”, and focused on ocean business community leadership in achieving the U.N. “Ocean” Sustainable Development Goal – SDG 14.


The WOC reviews the SDGs applicable to the ocean business community, identifies key aspects of the relevant SDGs and notes which ocean industry sectors will be most affected by them. The WOC evaluates and outlines the opportunities and potential courses of action for ocean industries regarding:

• Ensuring access to sea-space and marine resources
• Participating in multi-stakeholder dialogues
• Ensuring a sound business environment
• Supporting long-term business viability
• Improving risk management
• Addressing risks of engagement and non-engagement