Living Seawall hero


Our oceans are in distress

One garbage truck of plastic enters the world’s oceans every minute, and more than half of Sydney’s shoreline is artificial. Rich, vibrant habitats have been replaced with seawalls and degraded by plastic pollution.

There’s so much plastic in the ocean that scientists say it’s simply not feasible to remove it all. Tearing down seawalls isn’t viable either. Solving environmental issues requires modern, divergent thinking. 

That’s why we’ve partnered with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Reef Design Lab to create the Living Seawall. 

Living Seawall 55 species observed


Living Seawall: An Ocean Conservation Project


Why the Living Seawall?

Designed to mimic the root structure of native mangrove trees, the Living Seawall adds complexity to the existing seawall structure and provides a habitat for marine life. This aids biodiversity and attracts filter-feeding organisms that actually absorb and filter out pollutants – such as particulate matter and heavy metals – keeping the water ‘clean’. The more organisms we have,
the cleaner the water.


The Living Seawall is made up of 50 tiles designed to mimic the root structure of mangrove trees.


The tiles are installed along an existing seawall structure in Sydney Harbour.


Over time, the filter-feeding organisms colonise the wall. These organisms filter particles and pollutants out of the water.


Researchers will monitor the Living Seawall for the next 20 years as it improves biodiversity and water quality.

The making of the Living Seawall

More projects by Volvo

Our commitment to sustainability

There’s a Swedish word, omtanke, that means ‘caring’ and ‘consideration’. 
That’s what the Living Seawall is all about.

Volvo is commited to building a sustainable future with projects like the Living Seawall and beach clean-ups, but our sustainability programme doesn’t end there. 

By the end of 2019, Volvo Cars will remove single-use plastics from all its offices, canteens and events across the globe. This will replace over 20 million single-use plastics
with sustainable alternatives.

We’ve also commited to electrification, with a goal of putting 1 million electric cars on the road by 2025, and to fostering productive partnerships. Volvo Cars is an active supporter of the UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign and a founding member of the UN Global Compact. 

This radical and divergent style of thinking isn’t just what we do. It’s part of who we are.

Smarter, recoverable cars

When we design our cars, we think deeply about how they impact the environment - and how we can reduce that impact. The textile interior mats of the XC40 area made from recycled plastic bottles, and we recycle and remanufacture just about all
Volvo cars.
Volvo Environmentally Friendly Cars
Sustainable operations

Sustainable operations

By 2025, we aim to put 1 million electrified cars on the road and achieve ‘carbon neutral’ manufacturing operations. This global commitment will be achieved by securing climate neutral energy supplies, and through energy efficiency initiatives.

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