A Race We Must Win

It’s been the question every follower of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 has been asking when they see the Team Vestas Wind slogan on their boat’s mainsail: What is ‘A Race We Must Win”?

Today Vestas, the world’s biggest wind manufacturer, gave the answer just four days before their crew and the rest of the seven-strong fleet leave Spain for the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race to Cape Town on Saturday.

Vestas Group SVP and chief marketing officer Morten Albaek describes the campaign as “probably the biggest business-to-business enlightenment campaign” ever undertaken.

“We want to tell the world that humanity is in A Race We Must Win and that it can be won only with the help of wind technology,” says Albaek, speaking from Alicante.

A Race We Must Win comprises three critical challenges currently facing mankind, each closing in on a point beyond which change for the worse is inevitable: 

– The race against climate change where carbon reduction and investments to avoid carbon lock-in are urgently needed to avoid increasing global temperatures by more than the critical two degrees.

– The race against energy poverty where 1.3 billion today live without clean and reliable energy and whose immediate solution is coal and diesel unless otherwise supported.

– The race against water scarcity where 1.2 billion people live today with absolute water scarcity, an amount increasing dramatically as more than 40% of the global population is projected to be living in areas of severe water stress in 2050.

Vestas has installed a specially constructed pavilion in Alicante to illustrate these key issues and is planning to add “new elements” to the campaign in each of the key ports where the race and respective teams will stop over.

“We are not just talking about the problems but about the solutions and asking people to make commitments in their daily life,” says Albaek.

As part of its race activities, Vestas will engage with more than 1,000 decision makers among their key customers in key markets. Albaek points out that the 10 countries that the race will visit – including South Africa, China, Brazil and USA – represent “a significant part of our business for the next few years”.

“There will be millions of spectators coming down to the ports and these are citizens and consumers that need a message that is meaningful for them,” he adds.

Albaek says that Vestas’ campaign will not end when the Volvo Ocean Race finishes in Gothenburg in June 2015, but will feed in to the campaign to get concrete solutions to stop climate change at the Paris COP meeting later that year. “Our race won’t end with the Volvo Ocean Race, it will continue to Paris and beyond,” he adds.

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