Sustainable Development Goals: Exploring Maritime Opportunities

Tuesday 6 June 2017 at 09:00 AM in the Press Center, UN Headquarters.

In a time with increasingly deteriorating ocean health, the need for global solutions for sustainable ocean development have never been stronger. The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association has with DNV GL identified five opportunities for the maritime industry to contribute to the SDGs.

One concrete initiative, and with direct impact on the SDG 14, is the collection of big data from commercial ships, being announced at the UN Ocean Conference.


09:00 Welcome 

09:04 The SDGs: Maritime Opportunities - The Report and the Open Ocean Data Initiative

  • Sturla Henriksen, CEO Norwegian Shipowners’ Association
  • Jon Erik Reinhardsen, CEO PGS

09:15 Round of remarks on Maritime Opportunities. Introduced and moderated by Bjørn Haugland, DNVGL.

  • UN Environment, Executive Director Erik Solheim
  • IMO, Secretary General, Kitack Lim
  • UN Global Compact, Exec. Director Lise Kingo
  • Norway's Minister of Environment and Climate, Norway, Mr. Vidar Helgesen

09:45 Summing Up and Closing Remarks, CEO Sturla Henriksen

09:50 Ends


Open Ocean Data

Since 1991 the marine geophysical company PGS has acquired seismic data of the ocean subsurface worldwide, which oil companies use to find oil and gas reserves. This activity has created an extensive data library of ocean data. The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association.

The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association has on the basis on the initiative by PGS decided to invite the whole Norwegian fleet to take part in the project and share all surplus data of the oceans.

The oceans represent our most important global common resource. Healthy and productive oceans are essential to the prosperity and well-being of mankind. Some estimates show that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the world oceans. On one hand acidification, rising sea temperatures and pollution are already affecting life below water deeply. On the other hand, there are expectations for subsea energy supply, extraction of vital metals, mineral resources, food and bases for tomorrows medicines. Covering 70% of our planet, only 5% of the oceans are explored. 

“Today we know more about the surface of the Moon than our own seabed”, says Sturla Henriksen, CEO of NSA. 

“The oceans are holding vast arrays of important opportunities to ensure healthy food, new medicines, precious metals and minerals, renewable energy and green transportation for a rapidly growing world population. At the same time, the health of the oceans is rapidly deteriorating.  Ocean acidification is an urgent challenge, and it is a sad fact that unless we take action, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans within the next few decades. We must increase our knowledge of the oceans and this initiative will hopefully be a step in the right direction”. 

“As a part of our seismic acquisition we also collect numerous surplus data in order to improve the seismic imaging process”, says Jon Erik Reinhardsen, President & CEO of PGS.

Examples of surplus data are water temperature and salinity through the water column, currents, and weather observations. As a responsible company we are fully committed to minimize the impact on the environment from our own operations. We also have a responsibility to contribute where we can to increase our collective understanding and knowledge of the oceanic environment. I am therefore pleased to share our surplus data with scientists in order to contribute to get a better understanding of the oceans where we operate, to the benefits of society at large.” 

“This is a great gift to the research community and we can't wait to put the data to new use. We hope that both private and public companies answer to the invitation and follows PGS' example. Access to a wide range of data opens the possibility to develop new solutions that in turn can give Norway's ocean based industry competitive advantages.”, Vegard Johansen, CEO Sintef Ocean.

The Report SDGs: Exploring Maritime Opportunities

Together with DNV GL, the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association has published a new report on how the shipping industry can contribute to achieving the UN's sustainability goals. "The ocean represents life on earth, and is essential for prosperity, growth and wellbeing. We need to increase our knowledge of the ocean and make use of the resources in a more sustainable manner, " Sturla Henriksen, CEO of the NSA says. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) was adopted by the UN in 2015 and is a joint work plan and call to action to protect the planet, ensure a dignified life for all people, and achieve inclusive economic growth, peace and prosperity.

The ocean provides food for billions of people. The seabed contains large amounts of minerals and metals. Offshore oil and gas currently supplies a third of the world’s demand for oil and gas. New technology also makes it possible to utilize more renewable, emission-free energy from offshore wind, waves, currents and tides.

Ships carry more than 90 percent of world trade. Already today shipping is the most energy efficient form of transport.

The report provides inspiration and guidance to a maritime industry in transition. It outlines measures for a better and more sustainable world.

"DNV GL is very proud to have contributed to this report. With this report, several companies and organizations find practical and actionable steps to promote their businesses in a way that directly supports sustainable development and the UN Agenda 2030", says dr. Maria Gjølberg, DNV GL.

Link to report 

Media Contact

  •  NSA: Erik Giercksky: // +47 996 47 455
  •  PGS: Bård Stenberg:  // +47 992 45 235

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