Profile n°1: Anne-Cécile Turner, The Ocean Race
To celebrate World Oceans Day 2019, we have chosen to highlight the profiles of 3 women involved in preventing ocean plastic pollution, and with whom we collaborate @ConsultantSeas over our various assignments.
Our first invitee is Anne-Cécile Tuner, who leads the Sustainability Department at The Ocean Race.
Anne-Cécile, the floor is yours!
Could you briefly present yourself? How does your job allow you to contribute to protecting the ocean?
My name is Anne-Cécile Turner. I am the co-founder of Blueshift agency, and currently Sustainability Director of The Ocean Race. My role is to use this famous round-the-world sailing race as a catalyst to accelerate the restoration of ocean health. The race is envisioned as a threefold platform:
- An action platform: Engage our stakeholders , fans, host cities, sponsors, athletes, amongst others on our journey to develop solutions to protect the ocean.
- A knowledge platform: Through our scientific programme, collect and analyse data to improve our understanding of the ocean ecosystem.
- An education platform: Develop an education programme, that can be adapted to elementary school, high school and professional training.
Which concrete solutions does your organization implement to solve the plastic pollution challenge?
Through our Racing with Purpose programme we have unveiled a roadmap to inspire action and create tangible outcomes for our ocean. The formation of a visionary partnership with 11th Hour Racing sees us collectively work on a broad range of initiatives for cleaner and healthier seas.
Our partnership with Bluewater allowed us to reduce our plastic bottle consumption by 400 000 units over the last edition of the Race. For the next edition, we aim for a “zero bottles” race.
We also work with our Race suppliers, through a sourcing code, to make them aware of the ocean plastics issue and avoid single use plastics in our race villages.
We are currently developing a Knowledge Center, an open-source online database, that will gather all of our knowledge and data on ocean heath.
Last but not least, we are continuing our Ocean Summits programme. Our series of Ocean Summits gather the world’s most relevant sustainability influencers, innovators and decision makers under one roof to highlight ocean health issues, such as plastic pollution, and showcase solutions on a local, national and global scale.
To complement The Ocean Race Summits, an Innovation Workshop concept has been introduced this year as part of the programme of events. These seminars challenge industry leaders and experts to find new ways of working on a range of issues that link their value chain with ocean pollution. Roadmaps for Action will be developed over each Innovation Workshop.
What would be, in your opinion, the solutions to implement in the near future to solve the issue at the pace and scale it requires?
I would say, in the following order of importance:
- Create a research institute on sustainable materials, to develop non-toxic alternatives to plastics.
- Encourage and promote a circular economy approach for those plastic materials that are currently on the market, especially through a strong engagement from governments at the legislative level.
- For remaining plastics, implement recycling solutions at scale to prevent plastic from leaking into the environment.