Living Seawall

Volvo Cars, Australia

Issue 48 | September 2018



Creative Team

National Executive Creative Director Chad Mackenzie Creative Director Ronojoy Ghosh Art Director Whitney Moothoo Copywriter Grace O'Brien Digital Art Director Jeremy Frouin Digital Producer Alex Botterill

Production Team

Head of Production Terry Kerr Producer Lisa Macfarlane Cinematographer and Editor Mark Brightwell Designer Jess Tilbrook PPR Media outreach Event activation Maverick Senior Experience Strategist Matt Simms

Other Credits

Group Account Director Justine Leong Senior Account Director Kenneth McLeod Senior Account Manager Alex Sunier Social Media Manager Dominique Tait Client Managing Director Nick Connor Director, Sales and Marketing Stephen Connor Senior Manager, Marketing Julie Hutchinson Events and Sponsorships Supervisor Chelsea Thompson Director, PR and Corporate Greg Bosnich


June 2018


Volvo Cars, Australia, had a relatively small market share, which meant that the brand had to behave differently to other cars in order to get noticed. Not only that, Volvo were aiming to double sales to 10,000 vehicles in 2020.

Because Volvo’s overarching brand philosophy combines innovation with sustainability, the company had become a founding member of the UN Global Compact. They wanted to support the United Nations’ World Environment Day initiative, the theme of which revolved around beating plastic pollution.


In previous years, Volvo had taken part in beach clean-ups but in 2018 wanted to do something bigger and more relevant than just a day.

Working with the Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences, the idea was to create one of the world’s biggest living seawall in Sydney Harbour.

Plastic was recycled into fibres which were mixed with concrete to create tiles 50cm by 50cm which mimicked the root structure of mangrove trees. When attached to existing seawalls, these tiles promoted biodiversity and that helped to improve water quality.


The Living Seawall was unveiled by Volvo at a beach clean event in Rose Bay on World Environment Day. The idea summed up Volvo’s approach to sustainability in general, a brand always trying to rethink, reinvent and redesign for the better.

Our Thoughts

At first, we were a bit dubious about this idea. But then it took hold. Plastic soup has become a major issue of these times and given that Volvo have declared they will remove all single-use plastics from the company’s offices, canteens and events by 2019, there is a synergy. Also, they plan to be entirely carbon-neutral by 2025. So, sustainability is a very real thread in Volvo’s DNA. Creating a safe home for small sea creatures, oysters and fish, is also a very- Volvo thing to do. The PR would certainly have helped get the brand’s values across to exactly the sort of environmentally-aware people Volvo would have identified as their core target audience.

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