The search for sustainable solutions
The ocean crisis may seem overwhelming – and the intention of this article is not to scaremonger but to present the problem before explaining that there are solutions already out there – it’s a case of mobilising behind them.
One such way to restore our oceans is by better protecting them to encourage wildlife to thrive. Currently only 2-6% of the ocean is classified as a Marine Protected Area. The UK government has launched the Global Ocean Alliance along with 42 other member nations, calling for at least 30% of the ocean to be in Marine Protected Areas by 2030. But it’s not just governments that have an important role to play in the protection and restoration of the ocean – so too do investors.
Our industry can drive positive change by investing in companies creating sustainable solutions for ocean health, such as those that promote the circular economy and a move away from single-use plastic use, waste management or sustainable fishing practices. Investors must also engage with companies to adapt their business models to better support the ocean – whether directly or through the adoption of more environmentally or climate-friendly practices.
At BMO GAM, our engagement focuses on land-based pollution, including that of plastic waste, pesticide and nutritional run off from agriculture, oil spills and chemical leaks. On plastics, we ask companies to reduce the amount of unnecessary single-use plastic, improve the recyclability of plastic, invest in packaging redesign and new materials, implement circular economy models and improve recycling infrastructure.
You can read more about our efforts in this viewpoint on ocean plastics, and this one on the implications of Covid-19 on ocean health. We are also prioritising engagement around biodiversity loss and climate change – for example through addressing overfishing and marine transportation.