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 – Olympic gold medalist Martine Grael, and Volvo Ocean Race veterans Chris Nicholson, Jules Salter and Luke Molloy – attended 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 honour to have been asked to add the final brush strokes to this amazing project,” said Grael. “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.”
Dr Lin Liangqi, President of AkzoNobel China, added: “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.
The project is one of a series of local initiatives that AkzoNobel is undertaking around the world during the Volvo Ocean Race to leave a positive legacy in each Host City – a series which they call 'Human Cities'.
“A beautiful city environment requires concerted efforts from all social aspects and we are very pleased to cooperate with AkzoNobel,” said Professor 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, today’s unveiling also helped to highlight AkzoNobel’s role as a main sustainability partner of the Volvo Ocean Race.
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