Tuesday, 8 June 2021
The French Ministry of the Sea, in conjunction with the Classification Society Bureau Veritas, has launched the world's first-ever label for ocean protection, termed as "Ocean Approved". This is the world's first label that recognizes companies that are committed to understand and improve their oceanic impact.
The ocean is known to cover almost 70% of the earth’s surface and every company, whether directly or indirectly, has an impact on the ocean in its operations. Therefore, to eliminate the disposal of plastic materials to the ocean and promote wastewater treatment, companies need a well-defined label that helps to strengthen and structure both public and private parties’ operations. The Ocean Approved is such a label that aims to create awareness and promote ocean protection.
The Ocean Approved label comes after the Ocean Framework that was launched in 2020 by Fondation de la Mer. According to Sabine Roux de Bezieux, the president of Fondation de la Mer, the Ocean Framework was formed after a strong conviction to integrate a global vision that addresses all the current challenges facing the ocean. It also offered companies opportunities to introduce sea conversation in their transformation strategies.
The Ocean Approved, therefore, was agreed upon by the French Ministry of the Sea’s Delegation for the Sea and Coastline in collaboration with Bureau Veritas, BPI France, BCG, EpE, and France Invest. With this label, companies can now reach a new level in mobilizing the defense of the oceanic system. The label also complies with the rigorous standards defined by the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) platform.
Corporate Social Responsibility Launching
The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) platform was launched by the France Strategie, an organization that is supervised by the French Prime Minister and comprises civil society representatives. The platform aims to identify the factors favouring the adoption of responsible approaches. It also tries to identify the links between these factors and marine economic performance.
According to the publication made by the France Strategie on the effectiveness of the CSR platform, companies that implemented a CSR approach had improved performance by 13%.
The Labelling Process
The Ocean Approved labelling process featured actions taken by the companies and the analysis of the governance mechanisms that are incorporated into these actions. Such actions include reducing and recycling plastic materials, improving wastewater treatment, and emphasizing coastal area protection.
The Fondation de la Mer also approved Bureau Veritas and other independent third parties to facilitate the audit process. Such third parties have to guarantee the truth and accuracy of the companies' statements. Moreover, the entire labelling and auditing processes were tested with three pilot companies following the BV ruling. These are an energy company (Engie), a data centre operator (Interxion), and a marine cosmetics company (Thalgo).
Remember, the Ocean Approved label was launched ahead of the World's Ocean Day celebration that was formed to create awareness and encourage the conservation of marine life among humankind. The day is celebrated on 8th June every year.
(Written and edited by: The Decision Maker team)