Volvo Car Australia (VCA) has launched its latest innovative sustainability project, Living Seawall, created in collaboration with WPP’s whiteGREY, Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences (SIMs), and Reef Design Lab.
VCA joined the United Nations’ World Environment Day initiative, this year’s theme is beating plastic pollution. The Living Seawall uses uniquely designed tiles made from concrete reinforced with 100 per cent recycled plastic fibres to mimic the root structure of mangrove trees that were once prolific along Sydney Harbour. The plastic fibres are embedded within the concrete in such a way that they cannot disperse into the environment.
Chad Mackenzie, national executive creative director, whiteGREY said: “Sustainability and innovation are at the core of Volvo’s brand philosophy and the Living Seawall reinforces Volvo’s commitment to tackling ocean plastic pollution.”
Mackenzie said: “Solving the problem of plastic requires a truly innovative approach to creativity. In collaboration with SIMS and Reef Design Lab we came up with the idea of using concrete reinforced with recycled plastic to create seawall tiles that mimic the design of native mangroves. When attached to existing seawalls, these tiles promote biodiversity and that helps to improve water quality.”
“It’s the first time this material has been used for this purpose and it’s a very exciting project that we hope will be adopted globally,” Mackenzie said.
Nick Connor, managing director at Volvo Car Australia, said: “There’s a Swedish word, omtanke, that means ‘caring’ and ‘consideration’. But it also means ‘to think again.’ I think that really captures what we’re trying to achieve with the Living Seawall, and it sums up Volvo’s approach to sustainability in general. We’re always trying to rethink, reinvent, redesign for the better.”
“We are excited about what this campaign may mean for ocean sustainability in the long term.”
whiteGREY’s remit included Strategy, Creative, Product design (in collaboration with SIMS and Reef Design Lab); Digital and Social.
The Living Seawall was unveiled by Volvo at a beach clean event in Rose Bay on World Environment Day. The complete Living Seawall, featuring 50 tiles measuring 50cm x 50cm, will be built over the next few months and installed at a location in Sydney Harbour creating one of the world’s largest living seawalls.
Organisms will colonise the Living Seawall within months of installation, helping to improve the richness and the diversity of seawalls. These organisms filter harsh pollutants, particles and heavy metals from the water, helping to keep the Harbour and ocean around Living Seawall clean.