Photo: NYK Line

NYK 1st Japanese company to join UN’s Sustainable Ocean Principles

Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) has become a signatory to the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Principles.

NYK is the first Japanese company to become a signatory.

The UN’s Sustainable Blue Economy Investment Forum was held in Portugal on June 28, 2022. There, NYK joined 150 companies having a combined market capitalization of 1 trillion euros in taking action for a healthier ocean by signaling a commitment to a healthy ocean.

Launched in September 2019, the Sustainable Ocean Principles provide a framework for responsible business practices across sectors and geographies, building upon and supplementing the principles of the UN Global Compact to achieve the world community’s ambitions as laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goal 14 of “Life Below Water.”

NYK said it has become a signatory with the understanding that the direction of the company’s Life Below Water efforts, indicated below, are in line with the purpose of the Sustainable Ocean Principles.

Promotion of low-carbon and decarbonization of ships

NYK has been implementing fuel-saving activities for several years by improving the operational efficiency of ships in order to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes acidification, from ships.

The company is also actively engaged in research and demonstration projects aimed at introducing LNG fuel as a bridge solution to decarbonization and putting zero-emission fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia into practical use.

CO2 is also one of the greenhouse gases (GHG) that brings about global warming, and its reduction is urgently needed in response to climate change.

Contribution to solving marine plastic pollution

In 2020, NYK started using its vessels to obtain samples of microplastics together with the Chiba Institute of Technology (CIT), and NYK and CIT have since conducted joint surveys on the distribution and impact of microplastics in the ocean.

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“We believe that the results of these surveys will contribute to the early resolution of marine plastics pollution, which may affect marine biodiversity,” the company said.

Since 2021, NYK has begun to contribute to environmental DNA research as an activity that contributes to the sustainable use of marine resources. This research makes it possible to grasp the current state of marine ecosystems, which has not yet been elucidated, and it is expected that the research results will be utilized for effective utilization of marine resources and formulation of future natural capital management plans.