AllianzGI partners with The Sea Cleaners on ocean plastic pollution

Five-year partnership will offer engagement opportunities for AllianzGI’s clients and colleagues, support the launch of ‘The Manta’, a new ship with renewable technologies

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Allianz Global Investors has entered into a five-year partnership with The Sea Cleaners, a new project designed to combat plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. AllianzGI’s support for The Sea Cleaners is a natural fit with the firm’s commitment to sustainable investing, with the partnership also set to open up new engagement opportunities for AllianzGI’s colleagues and clients, many of whom are already actively working to combat plastic waste.

Partnering with AllianzGI will support the development of “The Manta”, The Sea Cleaners’ giant new waste collection ship. Measuring in at 70 metres long, 49 metres wide and 61 metres high, The Manta is expected to take to the seas in 2022. It will use state-of-the-art technology to collect plastic macro-debris in high density areas like coastlines and estuaries before they break up and disperse and irreversibly damage bio-diversity.

As well as mass collecting discarded plastic, the ship, powered by wind turbines, solar panels and automized rigs, will conduct cutting-edge scientific research, with The Sea Cleaners providing open source data. One energy recovery unit will also convert non-recyclable plastics to run the ship and the onboard factory.

On land, The Sea Cleaners work to raise awareness among future generations of the harm caused by plastic pollution through a wide range of activities in schools and fairs. As part of this new partnership, AllianzGI colleagues will have the chance to participate in events with The Sea Cleaners’ team focused on reducing plastic pollution and leaders from The Sea Cleaners will attend and support AllianzGI’s range of Sustainability events.

Thorsten Heymann, global head of strategy at AllianzGI, says, “A shocking 9 million tonnes of plastic are dumped in the ocean every year – that’s about 300 kg per second.

“This partnership is something we are passionate about for two reasons. Firstly, it resonates with a critical part of our value proposition for clients, reflecting our desire to take a truly holistic approach to investing sustainably, and secondly, the joint journey will provide new ways for our colleagues and clients to engage with a topic that we know they care about a great deal.”

Yvan Bourgnon, president-founder of The Sea Cleaners, says, “Ocean plastic pollution is an ecological catastrophe and we are delighted to make this partnership with AllianzGI, because their values and sustainability scope are very closely aligned with ours.”

As part of a drive to reduce plastic use across its global business, AllianzGI is running internal campaigns to reduce its use of single-use plastics including introducing “Plastic Free Tuesdays” in its London office, while colleagues have also taken part in beach clean-up exercises at Baker Beach in San Francisco, Lamma Island in Hong Kong and Taiwan’s “Coastal Cleanup”.

AllianzGI’s Hong Kong office was recently awarded the “Hong Kong Green Organisation Certification” in recognition of its active participation in adopting various environmental practices, including reducing its use of plastics, and promoting a green workplace.

For the last two years, AllianzGI has received an A+ for its overarching approach to ESG Strategy and Governance from the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). AllianzGI recently appointed Beatrix Anton-Groenemeyer as its first chief sustainability officer. This new role, which reports directly to CEO Andreas Utermann, further underscores the importance of sustainability to AllianzGI and its clients.

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Date

6 Jun 2019

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