Our students act against marine pollution
Published on 08 July 2021 by NEOMA
Following the cancellation of the EDHEC Cruise Race, Sailaway, the Rouen Campus sailing club, came up with a new project: GREEN. For one week, 12 students sailed around Brittany picking up waste from the sea and the beaches.
‘Protect the magnificent sea’
The Sailaway students, inspired by their ‘Protect the magnificent sea’ (‘Préservons la mer, elle est magnifique’) slogan, set sail on 17 April from Arzon in Morbihan. The 2-boat crew of 12 students and 2 skippers set out with the objective of covering 50 kilometres a day and picking up any waste they came across in the sea and on land. “When we found out that the EDHEC Boat Race, which the School had participated in for the past 30 years and the biggest European higher education sports tournament, had been cancelled, there was no way we were going to take it lying down,” explains Florian Martin, association member. “Thanks to Élise Lina, one of the club’s members and who is highly committed to the environment, a solidarity project to raise awareness on marine pollution was soon suggested. We wanted to take firm action and make a real impact. That’s how GREEN came about.”
Use social media to change people’s habits
With Project GREEN, the Sailaway students hope to inspire, influence and change people’s habits. This is why, in addition to the waste collection initiative, they came up with the idea of creating a video project as well. In all, 7 videos on different themes, including cigarette butts and fishing, are being produced by the students. The videos are around 2 minutes long so they can be easily shared on the social network and feature footage taken at sea, during the stopovers and also interviews with the project’s expert partners: Sea Shepherd, Cèdre recyclons solidaire, Le Manta (a specially designed factory boat that picks up, treats and recycles plastic macro-waste) and the explorer Olivier Pitras…
A documentary to address general public
“As well as the short videos, we’ve also launched a documentary project,” adds Florian. “Marine pollution is quite common and not really visible. Taking the time to pick up the waste made us realise the reality of the situation. This is the message we’d like to share as much as possible.”
The documentary will be premiered to first year Master in Management (MiM) students in September.
Sailaway then hopes to be programmed at a number of festivals at the end of year with the aim gaining credibility and reaching as wide an audience as possible, before being broadcast for free on a general public platform. At the beginning of July, the association came second in the EY competition and won a grant of € 2,000 for the production of its documentary!
Support from the NEOMA community
Currently at the midway point of their project, the Sailaway students would like to thank all their partners. NEOMA, for contributing financially to the various transport costs and the skippers’ pay. The student associations: FBI for the loan of cameras and helping with the video-editing, and Ethika, for helping to make this a zero-waste project by providing responsible toothpaste and dish-washing products. The NEOMA CSR Committee students who advised Sailaway on how to make the project as environmentally-friendly as possible.
Huge congratulations to our students for their commitment and their message: nothing is impossible, lead by example and we can all contribute simply and together!