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Volvo Ocean Race: Meet the sailing competition that is fighting against plastics in the oceans

Volvo Ocean Race: Meet the sailing competition that is fighting against plastics in the oceans

It makes us happy to see that bigger players are starting to take serious commitments around the globe, to tackle an issue that is the outcome of our lifestyle. A perfect example is the Volvo Ocean Race. For their 2017-18 edition, they are putting sustainability at its heart, and engage to raise awareness about the ocean plastic pollution around the globe. This is a perfect example of how collaboration can lead to a cleaner future and more responsible way of living.  

What is the Volvo Ocean Race?

The Volvo Ocean Race is often described as the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, sailing’s most demanding team challenge and one of the sport’s Big Three events, alongside the Olympics and America’s Cup.

Photo: Will Suto

Photos: Rich Edwards

Since 1973, the Volvo Ocean Race has provided the ultimate test of a team and human adventure like no other. Over four decades it has kept an almost mythical hold over some of the greatest ever sailors – and the 2017-18 edition will take the teams 45,000 nautical miles around the world, across four oceans, touching six continents and 12 landmark Host Cities. It represents an ideal platform to make an impact about a global issue.

Did you know that every minute a fully loaded garbage truck is dumped into the ocean and if no measures are taken, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean? This is confirmed by a recent study by the United Nations Environment Programme.

The Volvo Ocean Race decided to take matter in their own hands and use their unique position to spread a positive message. They have partnered up with United Nations Environmentto support the Clean Seas initiative, Turn The Tide on Plastic.

They have launched a major Sustainability Programme for the 2017-18 edition and beyond – signing partnerships with 11th Hour Racing, AkzoNobel and United Nations Environment, while outlining a series of commitments that focus on ocean health. Their mission relies on 3 pillars: Minimizing their footprint, maximize their impact and create a lasting legacy for future generations.

UN Environment launched #CleanSeas in February 2017, with the aim of engaging governments, the general public, civil society and the private sector in the fight against marine plastic litter. By connecting individuals, civil society groups, industry and governments, UN Environment aims to transform habits, practices, standards and policies around the globe to dramatically reduce marine litter and the harm it causes.

Photo: Sergi Garcia Fernandez/Getty Images

"Marine plastic pollution is a global problem that needs global solutions. Through the #CleanSeas campaign, UN Environment is bringing together countries, companies and citizens who are committed to protect our oceans. We are so excited that Volvo Ocean Race has joined this effort and hope that through this partnership we will see even more commitments. Together, we can turn the tide on plastic," commented Erik Solheim, Executive Director, United Nations Environment.

Our team has selected our favorite boats which are without a doubt “Vestas 11th Hour racing” and “Turn the Tide on Plastic”. Both driving a strong sustainability message. We cannot wait to see how the race and their campaign are going to positively affect the world. Get ready for some adrenaline!

Take a look on their website for more information: and read more about their sustainability campaign in their sustainability section.

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