Jun 10, 2024
Released the new report “Business Awareness and Response to Ocean Challenges”
Bridging the gap: enhancing corporate engagement for ocean health through the ODI

Presented during the Blue Economy Summit on the 4th of June, "Business Awareness and Response to Ocean Challenges. Ocean Disclosure Initiative-GenAI-powered" report provides a comprehensive overview of corporate practices in ocean protection and restoration.

The report shows how the Ocean Disclosure Initiative (ODI) framework, strengthened by the use of GenAI, represents a key tool for fostering corporate responsibility towards the ocean.

Developed by One Ocean Foundation in partnership with SDA Bocconi, McKinsey & Company and CSIC (the Spanish National Research Council), the report includes a benchmark analysis that maps corporate behaviors across three sectors and analyze 162 sustainability reports published by 48 companies for the Maritime Transportation industry, 47 companies for the Textile and Apparel industry, and 67 companies for the Construction Materials industry, resulting in a pool of companies representing at least 85% of world market capitalization of each sector.

The main findings of the report

Certain findings from the benchmark analysis intersect across the three industries analysed and draw a cross-sectoral picture of the issues companies disclose in their reports:

• GHG emissions have attracted most of companies’ disclosure attention, followed by waste and contaminants;

• None of the issues recognised are explicitly connected to their negative consequences on ocean health;

• The majority of companies in the sample has a certain degree of board level oversight for sustainability issues, including for ocean-related matters when it comes to Maritime Transportation. However, only a minority of the companies in the Textile and Apparel and Construction Materials industries directly address ocean-related issues in their reports, either through dedicated sections or simply mentioning the topic of the ocean;

• Overall, the Maritime Transportation sector demonstrates better reported performance compared to Textile and Apparel and Construction Materials, due to its intrinsic connection with the ocean;

• The value of Blue Business Opportunities in terms of both business and ocean preservation is yet to be recognised by the majority of the companies.

Enhancing Corporate Action for Ocean Health

In conclusion, in line with previous research findings suggesting that Sustainable Development Goal 14 “Life Under Water” remains one of the SDGs least prioritized by companies, the analysis of the three case studies confirms a notable lack of awareness regarding the pressures on ocean health resulting from the business operations of these sectors.

While, positively, there is evidence of increasing corporate attention and a significant number of companies taking action, there is still a significant gap in companies' ability to effectively align their awareness and responses to address ocean challenges.

The ODI aspires to fill this gap and promote awareness and activation about the need to protect the ocean. It aims to provide a reliable standard for measuring pressures by creating awareness, enabling transparency and disclosure, and ultimately promoting strategic responses and concrete action.

As part of One Ocean Foundation's efforts to strengthen the relationship between marine ecosystems and the private sector, the methodological approach presented in this study will be further extended to analyze all sectors covered by the ODI, providing a comprehensive assessment of all major industries.

In accordance with the Foundation's mission to promote collaboration among key stakeholders, the ODI will ensure that companies, investors and policymakers work together effectively to preserve the ocean, its resources and ecosystem services for future generations.

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