Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s largest ocean carrier by operated container vessel capacity, has joined over 150 stakeholders in signing on to the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Principles.
Building on and supplementing the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, the Sustainable Ocean Principles provide a framework for responsible business practices across ocean sectors and geographies covering ocean health and productivity, governance and engagement and data and transparency.
The world depends on a healthy, productive and resilient ocean for food security, climate mitigation and economic livelihoods. Climate change, overfishing, pollution, and unsustainable and inequitable development are damaging the health of the ocean and seas.
MSC said it recognises the collective responsibility of companies to assess their impact on the ocean, protect ocean health and take action on ocean sustainability, which for the company is both a strategic imperative and a key business priority.
“Oceans play a vital role in the health of our blue planet, producing half of the world’s oxygen as well as regulating our climate. By signing the Sustainable Ocean Principles, we are joining with other blue economy companies to help build a sustainable blue economy,” Stefania Lallai, Vice President Sustainability of MSC’s Cargo Division, said.
As a member of the UNGC Ocean Stewardship Coalition and the Maritime Just Transition Task Force, MSC believes in working with a variety of partners to make an impact beyond its own operations. These collaborative platforms form part of MSC’s Sustainability Roadmap in response to the rapidly evolving landscape and its efforts to address the complex set of global challenges the world faces today, leveraging strategic alliances across the maritime ecosystem to protect and restore the health of oceans.
“This commitment by 150 blue economy companies shows the private sector’s willingness to support SDG 14. Healthy and productive oceans rely on all actors to do their part. I am encouraged that these companies are committed to integrating ocean health into their corporate strategies,” Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General and CEO of the United Nations Global Compact, commented.
The UN Ocean Conference and UN Decade of Ocean Science (2021-2030) serve as ongoing reminders of the importance of the maritime industry’s role in the health of our oceans and enabling resilient and sustainable supply chains.
In related news, Japanese shipping major NYK also joined the Sustainable Ocean Principles, becoming the first signatory from Japan.