[Last updated: 08th of November, 2022]

As we work to fulfil our mission to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, Stichting The Ocean Cleanup (together with each of its affiliates, “The Ocean Cleanup”) is committed to ensuring that every activity with which we are involved, is performed in a safe, responsible, and sustainable manner.


To help achieve this, this Code of Conduct sets out the standards that apply to all suppliers, partners, donors, funders and service providers (together, “Partners”) of The Ocean Cleanup.
The Ocean Cleanup expects Partners to adhere to this Code of Conduct and to take appropriate steps to ensure that their own supply chains, affiliates, and employees comply also. The Ocean Cleanup reviews compliance with the Code of Conduct and has the right to undertake a compliance audit on Partners.

Partners shall immediately report any actual or threatened non-compliance with the Code of Conduct to The Ocean Cleanup. In the event of such non-compliance, The Ocean Cleanup will work together with Partners in support of corrective measures to be undertaken. If a Partner fails (i) immediately to report non-compliance, or (ii) to comply with such corrective action, The Ocean Cleanup may terminate the relationship with immediate effect.


The Ocean Cleanup requires Partners to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, as well as the standards set out in this document (which may in some cases go beyond applicable legal requirements).


No form of bribery or corruption is tolerated in our business practices. Partners must comply with all applicable laws and regulations that prevent bribery and corruption. With bribery and corruption, we mean, amongst other things, giving or receiving anything of value to or from any person to obtain or retain business, secure an improper advantage, influence decisions, or any other improper inducements for business or financial gain.

Partners will be intolerant of corrupt activities and have policies and procedures in place to prevent and combat such activities. In addition, we expect Partners promptly to report relevant concerns to their contact at The Ocean Cleanup.


Partners will not conduct business, either directly or indirectly in countries or with companies and/or individuals who are subject to United Nations, European Union, United States, United Kingdom, and/or otherwise applicable sanctions.


Partners shall conduct business in accordance with all applicable competition and anti-trust laws and regulations. Partners are expected not to make any anti-competitive arrangements that restrict competition.


Partners should avoid situations that are, or give the appearance of, an actual or potential conflict of interest in their dealings with The Ocean Cleanup. A conflict of interest is a situation in which a person is in a position to derive personal benefit from actions or decisions made in their official capacity.
If a Partner suspects that a conflict of interest may have (intentionally or accidentally) occurred, the Partner shall disclose such conflict to The Ocean Cleanup in a timely manner and cooperate in finding a solution.


As a non-profit organization, we must regularly report our activities to our many stakeholders. To ensure proper compliance with its obligations to The Ocean Cleanup, Partners must ensure that all records are retained and disposed of in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.


Partners should always safely manage all exchanged sensitive information (including confidential, proprietary, and personal information) of everyone they do business with and comply with privacy and data protection laws. When data is stored or sent digitally, our Partners must have suitable cyber security systems in place. In case of security breaches, the appropriate authorities and The Ocean Cleanup must be notified promptly. Partners should respect all applicable intellectual property rights, including those of The Ocean Cleanup.


Employees of The Ocean Cleanup are one of our greatest resources and we believe they must be treated with respect and dignity. Our Partners are expected to uphold the same principles:

      Partners must comply with applicable laws and regulations on working hours and overtime and shall pay their employees fair wages and respect the statutory minimum wage of the country in which they operate. If such a statutory minimum wage does not exist or does not meet basic needs, Partners should strive to pay employees, as a minimum, enough to satisfy their basic needs. The rights of individuals to join trade unions and participate in collective bargaining must be respected, and employees must be provided with access to adequate reporting channels to seek advice or raise concerns about unethical conduct in the workplace, including opportunities for anonymous reporting. Partner must take action to prevent, detect, and correct retaliatory actions against employees.


      Working with a diverse group of professionals is one of the strengths of The Ocean Cleanup. We respect individual and cultural diversity and encourage inclusiveness. We award, hire and promote on the principle of equal chances. We do not discriminate on the basis of (without limitation) race, color, ethnicity, religion, political opinion, social origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or expression or marital status. We commit to a workplace free of harassment and abuse. We expect the same from our Partners.


      Child labor must not be used under any circumstances. Partners shall comply with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and must not employ anyone under the age of 15, under the age of completing compulsory education, or under the legal minimum working age for employment, whichever requirement is most restrictive. A risk assessment and monitoring of working conditions, health, and hours of work shall be performed for all persons under age 18.


      Partners are prohibited from using forced labor, involuntary prison labor, and trafficking in persons. Partners must provide fair compensation for all employees and workers, apprentices, and contract workers. Partners are prohibited from requiring workers to work more than the maximum hours as set by international standards, including those provided by the International Labour Organization.


      Partners shall always strive to attain the highest level of occupational health and safety standards. Workplaces should be safe and conducive to good health; thereby, preserving the health of employees and preventing accidents, injuries, and work-related illnesses. If a Partner or its employees work at the facilities of The Ocean Cleanup they must follow The Ocean Cleanup’s HSE protocol and work instructions.



To help us achieve our mission, plastic use should be carefully considered. Initiatives such as plastic reduction goals can facilitate action and change throughout a company or organization. Partners shall be transparent about the use of plastic, work to reduce their plastic usage and where plastic usage cannot be avoided, undertake best-available recycling practices.


Protecting the environment is the main driver behind our work and Partners are expected to operate in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner. This includes compliance with all applicable environmental laws, regulations, and standards as well as the implementation of an effective system to identify and eliminate potential hazards to the environment.
Partners shall:

  • work in accordance with applicable international standards related to waste, chemicals and hazardous materials, wastewater, solid waste, and air emissions;
  • avoid any negative impact on critical habitats, on legally protected areas, and areas recognized for high biodiversity value;
  • avoid harm to critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, or restricted-range species and avoid introduction or utilization of invasive species;
  • avoid any unwarranted greenhouse gas emissions;
  • work to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 with a clear and verifiable path and ambitious intermediate steps;
  • comply with any additional environmental requirements specific to the products or services being provided, and as contractually agreed with The Ocean Cleanup;
    maintain records regarding each of the above.


In addition to the standards set out in the Code of Conduct, The Ocean Cleanup is committed to acting with respect to all human rights. Partners shall act in a manner supportive of our commitment in this regard and in compliance with all applicable human rights obligations. We expect Partners to take responsibility for avoiding any infringement of human rights on assignments performed for us and in conducting their business in general.


Partners can raise concerns or report suspected misconduct or irregularities related to the cooperation with The Ocean Cleanup, including giving any notice under the Code of Conduct via:

  • online communications channel available at the Contact Page (choose topic “Other”);
  • letter or hand delivery to The Ocean Cleanup HQ, attn Compliance Officer (Coolsingel 6, 3011 AD Rotterdam, The Netherlands).
    The Ocean Cleanup will investigate, address and respond to any concerns and will take appropriate corrective action.


The Code of Conduct may be amended by The Ocean Cleanup at any time without prior notification. The Code of Conduct, as amended from time to time, shall apply.