10.12.2019

The SeaCleaners Association

Allianz GI partners with The SeaCleaners to combat plastic pollution in the world’s oceans

Allianz Global Investors, one of the world’s leading active investment managers, announced that it has entered into a five-year partnership with The SeaCleaners, a new project designed to combat plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

Key takeaways

The SeaCleaners’ focus on ocean preservation and pollution education a natural fit with AllianzGI’s commitment to Sustainability
Five-year partnership will offer engagement opportunities for AllianzGI’s clients and colleagues, and support the launch of ‘The Manta’, a revolutionary new ship, combining several renewable technologies to reduce its carbon footprint, capable of collecting 10,000 tonnes of plastic macro-waste a year
AllianzGI’s support for The SeaCleaners 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 SeaCleaners’ 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 SeaCleaners providing open source data. One energy recovery unit will also convert non-recyclable plastics to run the ship and the on-board factory.

On land, The SeaCleaners 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 SeaCleaners’ team focused on reducing plastic pollution and leaders from The SeaCleaners will attend and support AllianzGI’s range of Sustainability events.

Thorsten Heymann, Global Head of Strategy at AllianzGI, said:
"A shocking 9 million tonnes of plastic are dumped in the ocean every year – that’s about 300kg per second. As an active, long-term investor, with sustainable investing in our DNA, we want to play an active role in combatting the scourge of plastic pollution, a common cause we share with The SeaCleaners. Together, we can help protect the oceans for future generations.

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 SeaCleaners, said:
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. Innovation, international and long-term action, sustainable development, biodiversity protection, education: let’s put people back at the heart of important ecological challenges. We are proud to work on this exciting mission and to build together a story about saving the oceans with a partner like AllianzGI.”

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.

AllianzGI is a pioneer in Sustainable investing. 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.

All of AllianzGI’s EUR 535bn of Assets under Management are ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) informed, with AllianzGI’s highly-developed, active programme of engagement, stewardship and proprietary research available to all investment professionals across AllianzGI. AllianzGI is committed to, and in the process of, embedding ES&G factors across all of its investment strategies, with Integrated ESG already applicable to EUR 118bn of the assets AllianzGI manages. In addition, as well as managing EUR 22bn in dedicated SRI strategies, AllianzGI manages around EUR 6bn of impact investments.

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