During the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race a series of Ocean Summits have been organised at a range of stopovers as a key part of our sustainability programme.
The seven Ocean Summits are bringing together the worlds of sport, industry, government, science and ocean advocates, to showcase innovative solutions and announcements to combat the global crisis of ocean plastic pollution.
By convening key stakeholders we aim to inspire people to help turn the tide on plastic.
The Ocean Summits saw the release of ground breaking data on the amount of microplastics in European waters and produced a series of announcements to address the impacts of plastics on ocean health.
At the Ocean Summit in Alicante, the Spanish Government announced that it was joining the UN Clean Seas Campaign. The Mayor of Alicante also announced an education campaign on plastic in all schools in the city.
At the Cape Town Ocean Summit, the V&A Waterfront shopping centre, which welcomes 24 million visitors each year, pledged to eliminate single-use plastic bags and bottles. Individuals, business and governments are urged to committing to reduce their plastic footprint and to help tackle ocean plastic pollution by taking the #cleanseas pledge.
At the Hong Kong Ocean Summit, Daisy Lo, assistant director of environmental protection, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, pledged to explore ways to reduce plastic at source, revealed plans for a $HK20 million fund for upgrading plastic recycling facilities and talked of Government efforts to clean up the marine environment. Race Team AkzoNobel was announced as the second team to use the on-board data gathering equipment to measure water quality and composition, as well as microplastics in some of the world’s remotest oceans.
A range of announcements at the Ocean Summit during the Newport stopover saw Rhode Island become the first US state to sign up to the UN CleanSeas campaign to fight ocean plastic pollution. Volvo Cars revealed it will remove single-use plastics from all its offices, canteens and events across the globe replacing over 20 million single-use plastic items with sustainable alternatives.
At the event in Cardiff, the Welsh Government signed the country up to the United Nations Environment’s #CleanSeas campaign alongside World Sailing and the International Olympic Committee. The Welsh Government also said that drinking water would be made available along the 870-mile Wales Coast path to help reduce the use of single use plastics. Iceland Foods Group revealed the extension of their in-store trial of a Deposit Return Scheme. The reverse vending machines accept Iceland’s empty plastic beverage bottles and repay customers with a 10p voucher for each recycled bottle, to be used in store.
In Gothenburg, the Swedish Government Minister for the Environment, revealed that the Swedish Government has allocated €7.8 million to 15 projects related to Ocean health, and Volvo Cars, announced the company’s ambition that from 2025, at least 25 per cent of the plastics used in every newly launched Volvo car will be made from recycled material.
The last Ocean Summit in The Hague, helped develop a roadmap for future solutions to improve the health of our seas.
A range of announcements, during the two-day event, set a course for a healthier future for our oceans and the Volvo Ocean Race Sustainability Programme revealed its post-race plans.
The Ocean Summit forms part of the Volvo Ocean Race Sustainability Programme, in conjunction with Sustainability Partners 11th Hour Racing, the Mirpuri Foundation and our other main partners, Volvo, AkzoNobel, Ocean Family Foundation, Stena Recycling and Bluewater is taking action to prevent plastics polluting our seas by maximising our impact at host cities, minimising the footprint of our Race Villages and providing inspiration so we are able to leave a positive legacy for the future health of our oceans. The programme is also a proud supporter of the United Nations Environment’s Clean Seas campaign.