We invest in research projects to assess the sustainability of particular activities.

Whether a particular activity is sustainable or not is a key question with regard to the economic uses of the sea. However, the standard consenting processes tend not to include an explicit assessment of such matters. Worldwide, there are many approaches to measuring sustainability but little agreement and none are adopted uniformly. In the UK there are five 'shared principles' of sustainable development, which are agreed across the devolved administrations and the Government.

We are committed to understanding the sustainability of the activities on the assets we manage in great detail. Accordingly, we have developed methods of assessing sustainability through a set of 'objectives', 'indicators', 'measures' and 'metrics', which are mapped onto the sustainable development shared principles. In a full assessment of sustainability, evidence is assembled relating to 32 metrics for a particular activity. A scoring system is then used to derive a value for a sustainability index for the activity. This allows activities to be compared and also provides a greater understanding of the sensitivity of the individual metrics in influencing the overall sustainability index value. We aim to understand the current situation and also work towards improvements in sustainability in the future.