Mainstream signs up to Sustainable Ocean Principles at UN launch




29 June 2022



Blade being attached to offshore wind wind at sea

Mainstream has subscribed to nine new UN Global Compact principles designed to protect the marine environment and enhance the sustainable opportunities of our offshore wind activities. Image: Ørsted

Mainstream has joined a new United Nations led initiative designed to marshal corporate responsibility for the health of the world’s oceans.

The company was among around 150 signatories to the Sustainable Ocean Principles on its launch at a special UN Ocean Conference event in Portugal.

Devised by the UN Global Compact, the co-ordinating body for businesses with a shared goal of building a better world, the framework declares “an urgent need” to protect the oceans from increasing temperatures, acidification, pollution and the depletion of marine life and natural resources.

It also notes how the sustainable, expanded use of the ocean – with resources that include offshore wind energy – will “contribute to reducing global warning” and provide “significant opportunities for global economic growth”.


Signatories commit to observing nine principles that, when taken together, will require them to assess their impact on the ocean and integrate ocean sustainability into corporate strategies.

They build on the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact that focus on human rights, labour protections, the environment and anti-corruption.

And they are also intended to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14, relating to ‘life below water’, which currently attracts the lowest level of financial investment of any of the 17 SDGs.

Mainstream’s Group Chief Executive, Mary Quaney, explained that the company’s focus on scaling up the deployment of offshore wind projects around the world is closely aligned with the need to foster a sustainable blue economy.

She said: “Fixed and floating offshore wind has the potential to add 71,000 GW to global energy capacity, which is nearly ten times the total amount of electricity powering the world today.

“We see offshore wind as being a real driver in an accelerated energy transition. Keeping on track for Net Zero will require the pace of wind installations to quadruple to 390 GW a year by 2030, and a growing portion of that will be deployed in our oceans.

“Mainstream is fully committed to delivering our offshore wind pipeline in accordance with the Sustainable Ocean Principles. It provides a framework for  ocean-based economic action that delivers protection and prosperity  hand-in-hand.

“Many of the principles are already enshrined within our own Global Development Standards – our in-house project processes and procedures that are benchmarked against the IFC Environmental and Social Standards and the Equator Principles – and they will help us embed our value of sustainability across all our offshore operations.”

Mitigation of environmental and economic impacts have been a prime consideration in Mainstream’s offshore activities, with the company:

  • Working closely with stakeholders at the outset of the sector in the UK to deliver offshore energy sustainably
  • Funding a coastal mangrove planting programme and building partnerships with local fishing communities in Vietnam, and
  • sharing full project lifecycle best practices in the ‘go-to’ US Offshore Wind Handbook.

The Sustainable Ocean Principles were launched at the Sustainable Blue Economy Investment Forum, taking place in the Portuguese resort town of Cascais. Its signatories have a combined market capitalisation of €1 trillion, and include Ørsted, SAP, PepsiCo, DNB Bank and Mainstream’s parent company, Aker Horizons.

Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General and CEO of the UN Global Compact, said: “Today’s commitment by 150 blue economy companies showcases the private sector’s willingness to support SDG 14. Healthy and productive oceans rely on all actors to do their part. I am encouraged by these companies and their commitment to integrate ocean health into their corporate strategies.”

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