Business for ocean sustainability: Early responses of ocean governance in the private sector

Sardá, Rafael; Pogutz, Stefano; de Silvio, Manlio; Allevi, Virginia; Saputo, A.; Daminelli, R.; Fumagalli, F.; Totaro, L.; Rizzi, Giorgia; Magni, Giulio; Pachner, Jan; Perrini, F. Ambio : doi:10.1007/s13280-022-01784-2 (2022)  DIGITAL CSIC

A large sample of 1664 companies—69 directly working in the ocean economy—distributed across 19 industrial sectors was investigated to explore awareness and activation regarding direct and indirect pressures on the ocean, their responses to these pressures, and the disclosure tools used. We examined their accountability and disclosure practices on sustainable development goals (SDGs) using the drivers, pressures, state, welfare, and response accounting framework. Based on their 2019 sustainability reports, just 7% of the companies assessed disclosed on SDG14. However, 51% of these companies can be considered as aware, albeit to varying degrees, of the pressures their industries place on the oceans, 44% deploy mitigating activities, and 26% are aware and actively lead business responses to ocean challenges. Although we have seen just early responses in addressing ocean challenges, companies’ awareness and activation must converge to achieve ocean sustainability and move businesses into a truly blue economy.