“Detailing sustainable strategies for the ocean is a complex task. A multitude of public and private actors are involved, and there are considerable threats and externalities that are not wholly understood. It remains unclear how the flow of existing and new economic activity might deplete (or potentially add to) the stock of natural capital, and whether new uses will conflict or align with existing ones as the ocean increasingly teems with activity. The impetus to sustainable growth must address a complex set of aims including equity, preserving natural capital, building strong communities and habitats, and staying low carbon or carbon-neutral. As you can’t manage what you can’t measure, progress toward each of these aims must be quantifiable. Minimising environmental impact is no longer sufficient: a new mindset must somehow realign the diverse interests of business, government, society and the environment.
The private sector can play a leading role in this change. As resources become more constrained and ecosystems more fragile, companies have much to gain from developing sustainable business models. Without these models, they face enormous risks to competitive advantage, supply chains, access to markets and finance, and to their reputation.
The task is not for the private sector alone. All of the ocean’s stakeholders must work in concert. But what does this mean, exactly? What would a set of key progress indicators for blue growth look like, and how would they help stakeholders rethink what they do or how they do it?”