• Audi Environmental Foundation, BABOR, Ferry Porsche Foundation, and the green startup everwave are joining forces to rid the Danube watershed of garbage
  • Rüdiger Recknagel, Director of the Audi Environmental Foundation: “Our future will only continue to be livable if we permanently and sustainably protect drinking water”
  • Cleanup mission starts around Earth Day, April 22
For a cleaner Danube: four strong partners start cleanup in Romania

The Ferry Porsche Foundation, German cosmetics manufacturer the BABOR BEAUTY GROUP, green startup everwave, and the Audi Environmental Foundation are starting a cleanup mission together. Around Earth Day (April 22), the quartet will deploy everwave’s highly efficient garbage collection boat CollectiX. Equipped with a conveyor belt and intelligent sensors, the boat will gather information about the amount, type, and composition of garbage. Long term solutions and prevention concepts for the region can be developed on that basis. In all, the boat will spend five weeks in Romania collecting plastic and other waste from the Danube and its tributaries.

The second-longest river in Europe pushes its way from Germany to Romania, where it opens out into the Black Sea. The Danube is among the most polluted bodies of water on the European continent. That has an effect on the sea: a large portion of the world’s garbage reaches the oceans via flowing waterways. “Water is an essential resource. Our future will only continue to be livable if we permanently and sustainably protect drinking water,” says Rüdiger Recknagel, Director of the Audi Environmental Foundation. “Each one of us four partners are all pursuing a vision of making our own contributions to environmental protection. Thanks to our collaboration, we were able to double the boat's operating time this year over the previous year. That shows that teamwork is the key to success.”

In addition to the five-week cleanup action, the partners are organizing various education and information offerings for children as well as cleanup activities on land over the course of the year. Last year, the Audi Environmental Foundation, BABOR, and everwave together removed more than 3.2 tons of plastic from the Danube in Serbia. That is the equivalent of 110,340 one liter plastic bottles. In addition to collecting garbage, the participants want to set a cross-industry example: the mission is picking up even more speed this year with the Ferry Porsche Foundation on board as a new cooperation partner.

Common vision: protect our waters

Every year, more than 11 million tons of plastic reach our oceans, a large portion of that via rivers. If this trend continues, the annual plastic accumulation in the sea could almost triple by 2040 (The PEW Charitable Trust & SYSTEMIQ 2020). The Aachen-based green startup everwave has set a goal for itself to meet this global challenge. In addition to collecting garbage, everwave supports environmentally friendly recycling as well as communication with the political sphere, media, and society. With the Audi Environmental Foundation, the BABOR BEAUTY GROUP, and the Ferry Porsche Foundation, everwave has found partners that share its vision of a sustainable future.

About everwave
With the help of special cleanup technologies consisting of grounded platforms and garbage collection boats with artificial intelligence technology, its team of scientists, mechanical engineers, and marketing experts is ridding rivers around the world of plastic waste and hopes to make a crucial difference in the process. In doing so, everwave is oriented toward the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. One important pillar, number 17, is establishing global partnerships for reaching those goals.

The BABOR brand is the heart of German cosmetics company BABOR BEAUTY GROUP. With headquarters in Aachen, Germany, the family-owned company stands for skin care in the luxury segment and pursues ambitious sustainability goals. Through a partnership with climate protection service provider Climate Partner, the brand's operations are already climate-neutral. Furthermore, the company is aiming to reduce its own CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2025. By 2023, it is also aiming to use 30 percent less Virgin plastic avoid the use of liquid microplastics wherever possible.

About the Ferry Porsche Foundation
Founded in 2018, the Ferry Porsche Foundation supports and initiates charitable projects in the fields of social affairs, environment, education and academics, culture, and sports. Through its social engagement, the Foundation wants above all to support young people at the company locations of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. Its name comes from Ferry Porsche, who founded the sports car manufacturer Porsche in 1948.