The protection, conservation and sustainable use of marine resources is the main premise of SDG14, advocating for the importance of keeping our Oceans clean and safe for the correct functioning of ecosystems, society and even the economy. But can companies have an impact on this Goal? And if so, how can they encourage it across the company?
All life on earth depends directly or indirectly on the Ocean, supporting unique habitats and interconnecting with other components of the Earth through the global exchange of water, energy and carbon.
But the consequences of our human actions and the impact they have on the planet, have greatly affected the environment, including the Ocean, Seas, and marine life and resources as a whole. According to the IPCC, the Ocean has absorbed more than 90% of the excess heat in the climate, which is expected to grow in the coming decades, and between 20% to 30% of human-induced CO2 emissions over the past 40 years, causing ocean acidification.
In warmer waters the supply of oxygen and nutrients for marine life are reduced, and because of the acidification of the Ocean, the distribution and abundance of marine life in coastal areas, in the open ocean and on the ocean floor is dangerously affected.
SDG14: An overview
The overwhelming scientific evidence and information shows us the consequences of human impact for our ecosystems, society and economy. It is in this context of rising sea levels and marine biodiversity loss that Sustainable Development Goals can offer guidelines to help fight against the deterioration of our Oceans and cryosphere (the portion of the Earth where water is frozen).
SDG14 focuses precisely on this, the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for a sustainable development. There are several targets that help create a roadmap to the actions that can be carried out for the achievement of this particular goal. Here are some of them:
- Prevent and reduce marine pollution, especially from land-based activities
- Sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems, strengthening resilience and fostering restoration
- Enhance scientific cooperation for reducing ocean acidification and minimize its impacts
- Effectively regulate harvesting and put an end to overfishing and illegal destructive fishing, implementing science based management plans. .
- Develop research capacity and scientific knowledge in order to improve ocean health
- Enhance conservation and a sustainable use of the ocean by implementing international law (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea).
Engaging employees inside the company or organization into the achievement of sustainable development targets, such as the protection of our ocean, can be as beneficial to the environment as to the process of building a healthy corporate culture of sustainability.
What can businesses to for marine conservation?
There are direct and indirect ways to engage with the SDG objectives, but as we have talked here before, engaging employees inside the company or organization into the achievement of sustainable development targets, such as the protection of our ocean, can be as beneficial to the environment as to the process of building a healthy corporate culture of sustainability.
The first step to engagement is awareness, followed by education, training or other actions and initiatives that can help foster and make sustainability feasible for everyone in the organization:
We can understand engagement as breaking down sustainability issues into more manageable levels, which in turn makes it more practical and effective. Additionally, a clear understanding of sustainability, as well as the company’s strategy and values surrounding the latter, make up for a more resilient organization that is better prepared to face near future environmental and social challenges arising from issues such as climate change, social cohesion erosion, systemic economic crisis or mental health deterioration, among others.
Small action change the world
In this regard, here we have gathered a few more manageable actions than can be encouraged among employees as small actions with great power for change and, in this case, marine conservation and protection:
Join the reusable revolution and put and end to unnecessary plastic:
- Using a reusable water bottle can save you a lot of money, as well as avoid the use of more than 1400 plastic bottles a year.
- Having a resuable bag for shopping can help avoid thousands of plastic bags to end up in the ocean and be eaten by marine animals.
- Recycling is probably one of the most extended practices in the path towards sustainability, and one that can be easily implemented inside a company’s office or workplace, encouraging people to make the right decision when throwing out the waste we cannot avoid to produce on our daily lives.
- Increase Ocean knowledge: Learning about the environment which we are trying to protect is probably one of the most important steps in advance sustainable development. This is, being aware and educated will make us better prepared for the challenges of the future. Through traditional training or innovative technological services, companies can have a great impact on raising awareness among employees.
Engaging through transparency
We believe and work for transparency to be one of the key values driving the stakeholder transformation, as it is the only way to understand what we are doing wrong, what we are doing right and what it is that we are not doing yet.
Because being transparent is not only an externality to a company, or a given organization, to help build trust and reputation; it is in fact also a great learning and improvement mechanism. You cannot manage what you don’t understand. And so we advocate for transparency, integrity and precision as imperatives to the fight against today’s pending challenges.
In DoGood we are convinced of the need to understand and manage efforts to achieve a sustainable transition inside an organization for the correct and efficient functioning of the business and the community it operates in. We alone cannot achieve the substantial changes necessary, but we work on the basis of collaboration, transparency and accuracy in order to bring light to sustainable actions.
In this regard, it is essential to our work to promote good corporate governance, meaning that the processes of disclosure and transparency are followed so as to provide regulators and shareholders as well as the general public with precise and accurate information about the financial, operational and other aspects of the company, including a more accurate definition of the ESG performance.
We have developed a corporate government tool that helps establish ESG impact objectives for employees in regards to the sustainability strategy of the company. Through our technology we are able to activate and track employees’ impact, creating engagement that translates into improved ESG metrics, reputational value and an overall positive impact for the environment and society.