As an official sustainability partner of the 2017/2018 Volvo Ocean Race, AkzoNobel aims to play an active role in reducing single-use plastic in race villages around the world.
In an effort to “turn the tide on plastic,” the partnership will focus on educating people about plastic use and protecting our oceans.
“Our involvement with the Volvo Ocean Race and the participation of team AkzoNobel are a perfect fit with our Planet Possible sustainability strategy,” explained André Veneman, AkzoNobel’s corporate director of sustainability. “There’s a fundamental link between the sustainability goals of the race itself and our own efforts to achieve radical resource efficiency, such as offering sustainable and innovative products to customers that provide a positive social and environmental impact. So it makes perfect sense for us to support the fantastic Volvo Ocean Race sustainability program being put together for the next race.”
The 12 race villages, which are expected to attract millions of visitors, will be a major focus of the sustainability program. As well as eliminating the use of single-use plastics where possible, there will be a major push to change people’s views and behaviors when it comes to the health of our oceans.
AkzoNobel also will be using the race as an opportunity to show visitors how reducing emissions to air and discharges to the sea can help to make people’s lives more enjoyable and inspiring.
“This cooperation will play an important role in helping to raise awareness for the effect plastic is having on our environment and the impact it’s having on our oceans,” AkzoNobel crew member Annemieke Bes added. “As sailors, we see this firsthand, so we’re proud to be part of this partnership to turn the tide on plastic.”
Another key pillar of the program will be a series of Ocean Summits focused on bringing science, politics, government and sports together to get them to commit to changing the way they behave or operate.
“Our goal is to leave a legacy,” explained Volvo Ocean Race CEO Mark Turner. “We go to 12 host cities, and in each location we are able to impact, influence, change views and get new commitments from governments and business.”
AkzoNobel’s long association with the sea means the company is already playing a key role in helping to protect the world’s oceans. For example, it’s estimated that the Intersleek range supplied through the International brand has helped to save $3 billion in fuel and 32 million tons of CO2 since being introduced 21 years ago. Recently, the company also announced its intention to be carbon neutral and use 100 percent renewable energy in its operations by 2050.