Sailors from Team AkzoNobel joined company employees and residents from a neighborhood in downtown Guangzhou, China, to unveil a special mural created by the winner of a student design competition.
Four team members took time out of their busy Volvo Ocean Race schedule to attend the event, when they had the opportunity to add the finishing touches to the winning design – which adorns the side of a traditional building. The mural design, themed around ocean sustainability, was chosen last year as part of AkzoNobel’s sixth China Student Sustainability Awards.
“It’s an honor to have been asked to add the final brush strokes to this amazing project,” said Team AkzoNobel’s Martine Grael, who was joined by fellow crew members Luke Molloy, Chris Nicholson and Jules Salter. “Well-done to everyone involved – the students for their imagination and creativity and AkzoNobel for helping to make it happen.
“As sailors, we see first-hand evidence of the plight of the world’s oceans almost every day as we race around the world. The sailing team and AkzoNobel are committed to raising the profile of the need for ocean sustainability and hopefully this mural will help to promote that message here in China.”
Added Lin Liangqi, president of AkzoNobel China: “The competition was a great way to encourage students to engage in the topic of ocean sustainability. The winning design looks wonderful and we hope it contributes to boosting the vitality of the city and the community.”
Work on the mural started last month, when more than 60 students from Sun Yat-Sen University, South China University of Technology and Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts used Dulux products to start painting the design with on the wall of a building close to the Zhujiang River.
“A beautiful city environment requires concerted efforts from all social aspects and we are very pleased to cooperate with AkzoNobel,” said Li Xun, head of the Urbanization Research Institute at Yat-Sen University. “Painting an ocean-themed mural in a coastal city like Guangzhou enables us to embed marine culture into the ongoing rejuvenation project for the traditional old town, ensuring that more people will experience the charm of Guangzhou in a brand new way.”
Part of the company’s ongoing global efforts to make a positive impact in the communities where it operates, the unveiling also helped to highlight AkzoNobel’s role as a main sustainability partner of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The next competitive leg of the race starts on Feb. 7, when the teams will sail from Hong Kong to Auckland.