DB Schenker’s Anja Rönnfeldt joins a crew of 300 women on a mission to help solve the plastic pollution crisis that’s plaguing our world’s oceans.
In October, a pioneering, all-female sailing and scientific research mission left the UK to circumnavigate the globe across four oceans and the Arctic. With a focus on the environmental and health impacts of single-use plastic and toxics in the world’s oceans, eXXpedition Round the World 2019-20 comprises a series of 30 voyages and 300 crew members.
Ocean Plastics: No Laughing Matter
According to recent research, our world’s oceans are literally swimming with 15–51 trillion pieces of plastic that hurts or kills the marine mammals, seabirds, and fish that ingest it, get tangled in it, or get infected by it.
During its voyage, the eXXpedition Round the World science program will conduct research both at sea and on land. With crew members from diverse backgrounds, ages, disciplines, and experiences, the 38,000-nautical-mile trip starts and finishes in the UK, lasting a total of 23 months (October 2019-September 2021).
Passionate About Helping
Anja Rönnfeldt was born and raised on Germany’s Baltic coastline, she took an interest in water, marine biology, and the world’s oceans at a very young age. It’s no surprise that she pursued a professional career in ocean freight where world travel and living abroad created an awareness of the sheer amount of plastic polluting our world’s oceans.
Having previously worked for a container line, Rönnfeldt started as a Trade Manager in DB Schenker’s Regional Office APAC in 2000. Seven years later she took over the Head of Ocean position for the Region APAC before moving to Global Ocean Freight and later moving into her current role as Global Head of Trade Management.
“I’m passionate about raising the awareness level of plastic and toxic pollution and also about sustainability in general,” said Rönnfeldt, whose leadership role within the ocean logistic industry finds her working with numerous industry stakeholders on a daily basis.
Married with two sons, Rönnfeldt has the support of her family on this very significant project, and says they are “keen on seeing me through this very important, all-female adventure.”
In January, Rönnfeldt will climb aboard the S.V. TravelEdge, a 70-foot expedition sailing vessel and floating research laboratory. In doing so, she’ll be sailing through some of the densest ocean plastic accumulation zones on the planet to study plastic pollution. Expected to weigh more than all of the fish in the sea by 2050, the plastic material in our oceans is a particularly impactful pollutant because it never disintegrates.
“Our leading global position in ocean freight gives us the responsibility to act as a role model and lead sustainability in the ocean freight industry.”
When asked why she chose to participate in this important environmental initiative, Rönnfeldt said, “our leading global position in ocean freight gives us the responsibility to act as a role model and lead sustainability in the ocean freight industry”.
Check back regularly to see the progress that the eXXpedition team is making on this historic journey. You’ll find more detailed information on the voyage, the crew, and its mission online here. (This is an external non-DB Schenker website)