United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

The Ocean Framework: the world’s first tool based on SDG14 Targets and dedicated to companies. This holistic Framework enables all companies to identify and measure their impacts on the Ocean and set improvement actions.


    The Ocean is vital for the planet, our well-being, and our economies. It is an essential contributor to achieving the 2030 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving them will require a major contribution from business. However, SDG14 is the least prioritized by companies: 75% of companies use the SDGs to structure their CSR approach, but only one company in seven refers to the SDG14. Therefore, Fondation de la Mer designed the Ocean Framework, the world's first tool based on SDG14, to help corporations of all sizes and industries to identify and measure their impact on the Ocean, and take concrete action to improve it. The tool is available in French and English, and in free access.


    Given the Ocean’s central role for biodiversity and climate regulation, SDG14 is essential to reach the other environmental and socioeconomic SDGs. All companies, regardless of their business sector, are likely to have a significant impact and a role to play in protecting those ecosystems. However, outside the maritime sector, companies still only partially understand the impact they may have on the Ocean. The Ocean Framework enables all companies, including those that do not directly depend on the Ocean for their activities, to understand, measure, compare, and communicate in a transparent and holistic manner their impact on the Ocean. It accompanies businesses in their Ocean protection strategy. The Framework raises awareness among companies on the Ocean importance and provides them with a tool to grasp the SDG14.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    The Ocean Framework identifies all potential business/ocean interactions following the SDG14 canvas. It is the world's first tool which translates the SDG14 targets into indicators and actions for companies. Thanks to this tool, which is relevant whatever the size and activity, companies know concretely how they can contribute to the SDG14 targets. By using the Ocean Framework, companies can demonstrate, in their CSR reporting, that their strategy is implemented. Their impact on the Ocean is attested by objective and comparable facts and figures.

    Implementation methodologies

    More than 70 international sources from various actors such as State structures, NGOs, universities, companies, auditors and investors were studied to build the Ocean Framework. Sources included reports, publications, index (GRI, ISO), datasets, studies from external actors and indicators already used by companies. They provided 182 top performing companies to analyse. These sources allowed Fondation de la Mer to map the various impacts on the Ocean and select the operational indicators. Based on these analyses, the Framework identifies all interactions between companies and the Ocean on three axes: 1) discharges into the Ocean, 2) sampling in the Ocean, and 3) business management and SDG14. For each type of impact, addressable categories are identified with levers for improvement and key indicators to measure progress. Three guiding principles were followed to select the indicators: 1) Robustness, 2) Ease of measurement and 3) Broad applicability. Companies are thus provided with a dashboard of 44 indicators they can use for their reporting on SDG14. Each and every target of the SDG14 is addressed by at least one indicator, and each and every indicator addresses one or several SDG 14 targets. The Framework was built in a collaborative manner associating : a large panel of companies from various sizes and activities, renowned experts from scientific, non-profit, professional, academic and institutional worlds. The Framework was successfully tested by 9 companies: Suez, Michelin, Engie, Club Med, Naval Group, Hopscotch, Pierre & Vacances, Nausicaá and Louis Dreyfus Armateurs. The test confirmed the Framework’s easy usability and exhaustiveness of the impacts identified. It proved to be an efficient way of identifying concrete actions to undertake.


    Since the public launch in June 2020, the Ocean Framework has been downloaded more than 500 times and more than 300 companies of all sizes have expressed their interest in the Framework by participating in dedicated webinars. To meet their demand, Fondation de la Mer launched a web platform dedicated to the Ocean Framework at the end of February 2021. One week after its opening, more than 100 inscriptions were recorded. Today, about twenty companies from different sectors (transport, construction, digital, cosmetics, etc.) are about or already using the Framework to reduce their impact on the Ocean. To encourage companies to act for a sustainable ocean, the United Nations Global Compact recommends the use of the Ocean Framework. The Framework breaks new ground as it is a major contributor to the evolution of the company’s management in the service of the Ocean and other sustainable development objectives. It empowers every company to innovate and imagine solutions for Ocean protection.

    Factors and Constraints

    All stakeholders - employees, investors, clients - pay increasing attention to sustainable development. They require proof, measures and facts which are provided with the Ocean Framework. Besides, national and European regulations are being reinforced with the European taxonomy and the new Universal Registration Document. The Ocean Framework is fully consistent with these regulations and is the answer for companies as far as SDG14 is concerned. The Framework follows on from the UNEPFI guide for financial institutions. The UN Global Compact recommendation, as mentioned, has helped the practice to succeed.

    Sustainability and replicability

    The Ocean Framework has been available in free access, in French and English, since 2020, June 8th. It allows as many companies as possible to have a holistic view of their impact on the Ocean. Every business, no matter its size and industry, can use it. The Ocean Framework is available on a dedicated web platform (https://oceanapproved.org/) to leverage business action and federate engaged companies. The platform gives access to: a personalised support offer to handle the Framework and set priorities for improvement; testimonials from companies and recognized experts; qualified studies and articles on Ocean/Business issues; and a forum for exchange and sharing of good practices between peers. The deployment of the Framework has continued internationally. A dedicated webinar is scheduled for the end of March with the European Parliament.

    COVID-19 Impact

    Publishing the Ocean Framework in 2020, in the current global crisis, is a strong message for all companies: we cannot postpone our commitment in favor of the environment. We have no time left. The Ocean is key to planet and human life. Having a tool enabling key economic stakeholders to reduce their impact on it is an effective way to enhance ocean resilience and therefore human resilience to future crisis. We are witnessing a growing awareness of impacts of the environment and in particular damage to biodiversity on the appearance and spread of viruses. The Ocean hosts 80% of the planet's biodiversity. Its health is therefore key, and the Ocean Framework empowers companies to act.

    Contact Name
    Fondation de la Mer
    Geographical coverage

    The Ocean Framework applies to companies of all sectors and sizes, worldwide. The Framework is currently used by French companies, including some enjoying a global presence.

    Contact Information

    Isabelle, To promote, accelerate and enhance companies’ commitment towards SDG14, an "Ocean Approved" web platform is at their disposal (https://oceanapproved.org/).