Global needs and opportunities for “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”
Ocean sustainability issues are increasing affecting the future of shipping – and that of most, if not all, other industries using ocean space and resources, e.g. oil and gas, fisheries/seafood, aquaculture, ports, marine tourism, ocean renewable energy, seabed mining. This is creating important needs and opportunities for collaboration, synergies, and business benefits among the diverse sectors of the ocean business community. Unfortunately marine industries are not engaging in a coordinated systematic approach to the multi-sectoral policy developments affecting their ability to do business in the ocean. Opportunities are also being missed for ocean industry collaboration and economies of scale in developing solutions to cross-cutting marine environmental issues.
As the principle users of the marine environment, shipping and other ocean industries have the most to gain by developing and delivering solutions to sustainability – and the most to lose by continuing to be perceived as the primary cause of ocean problems as the marine environment is subject to increasing commercial use. Business access to ocean resources, services and space is at risk from the loss of the “social license” to operate in the seas and from the ocean governance regimes and policies that are emerging from processes in which industry is not well engaged.
To address the ocean sustainability issues and opportunities critical to business, the World Ocean Council (WOC) is creating an unprecedented global, cross-sectoral industry alliance. The WOC is catalyzing proactive, collaborative efforts towards “Corporate Ocean Responsibility” by leaders in the shipping industry and other sectors. Cross-sectoral leadership and collaboration will result in significant business value for those committing to the vision of a healthy and productive ocean that supports sustainable use and stewardship by the responsible ocean business community.