Celebrating World Oceans Day: Empowering Businesses for Ocean Conservation

Each year, 8 June marks World Oceans Day, and serves as a powerful reminder of the critical importance of our oceans and the urgent need for their protection. Oceans cover approximately 71% of our planet’s surface and are not only home to a rich array of marine life but also vital for human existence [1]. They offer economic opportunities, provide food security, and play a crucial role in regulating the Earth’s climate.

Our oceans face numerous threats, including pollution, overfishing, habitat destruction, climate change, and plastic waste. The impact of these challenges is not only environmental but also economic, with implications for a wide range of industries such as tourism, fisheries, and shipping. The well-being of businesses and the health of our oceans are intricately linked, highlighting the need for collective efforts.

Businesses worldwide have a vital role to play in safeguarding the health and sustainability of our oceans, while also highlighting the value and biodiversity they provide. By integrating sustainable practices and policies into their operations, businesses can drive positive change. This World Oceans Day, consider how your organisation can play its part in protecting our Oceans. Here are some ways your businesses can make a meaningful impact:


Plastic Reduction Initiatives

Plastic makes up approximately 85% of marine litter, with around 12.2 million tonnes of plastic being deposited into the marine environment each year [2] [3]. Due to this, it’s estimated that the average seafood consumer in the UK will be ingesting about 11,000 plastic particles every year [3]. Individuals and organisations all have a role to play in reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans and your organisation can start by taking stock of the amount of plastic it produces and identifying ways to reduce plastic waste. Introduce measures to minimise single-use plastics within your operations, promote recycling initiatives, and encourage the use of sustainable packaging alternatives.

At an office level you can provide reusable coffee cups and food containers for staff to take on their coffee and lunch runs, switch your office hygiene and cleaning products with eco-friendly and refillable ones, and make sure you have sufficient recycling bins with reminders and guidance for staff throughout the office.


Sustainable Supply Chains

Start by scrutinising your supply chain. Do your suppliers prioritise sustainability and actively minimise their environmental impact through integrating ocean-friendly practices and policies into their operations? Check if they produce or supply materials from sustainable fisheries or non-toxic sources and also have clear plastic waste reduction strategies in place. If not, consider ways you can engage and influence them to improve their practices, or switch to suppliers who already prioritise sustainability.


Advocacy and Policy Support

Organisations have a powerful voice that can be utilised to advocate for stronger environmental policies and regulations. If you are part of an Industry group, consider ways you can influence your wider industry to scrutinise practices and introduce positive change. Engage your local MP and policymakers on the importance of preserving our Oceans through stronger regulations to encourage long lasting change.


Corporate Social Responsibility

Review your Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and/or Environmental Policy and consider ways you can integrate ocean conservation as a core pillar. This could include incorporating some of the initiatives already mentioned, as well as mandating the purchase of non-toxic and sustainable products (particularly those that are produced from Ocean sources) into your procurement policy. Or you could facilitate company volunteer days such as beach clean-ups, and ensure any company carbon offsets, donations, or investments include projects which protect blue-carbon ecosystems.


How we can help?
World Oceans Day serves as a reminder that businesses have a crucial role in preserving the health and vitality of our oceans. By integrating sustainable practices, fostering innovation, and collaborating with stakeholders, businesses can drive positive change.

Through our sustainability packages and single solutions, mdsustain can support you to put some of the above initiatives into practice within your organisation and value chain. Our packages are tailored to your organisation’s unique context and are designed to help you to understand, assess, improve, and communicate your sustainability. Our services include supporting your organisation to develop an engagement strategy for your supply chain stakeholders and helping you to develop a comprehensive climate, ecology and waste strategy. For more information, contact one of our sustainability specialists at sustainability@manniondaniels.com.


[1] The Ocean – Global Ocean Monitoring and Observing (noaa.gov)

[2] From source to sea — The untold story of marine litter — European Environment Agency (europa.eu)

[3] Plastic bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide – UK Government (publications.parliament.uk)