ABP’s sustainability film ‘The Voyage’ wins Bronze for ‘Best Animation’ at Lens Awards

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Scene from ‘The Voyage’ film

The Voyage’, a sustainability film created by Associated British Ports (ABP) in collaboration with creative agency, Polar Media, has won Bronze in the ‘Best Animation’ category at London’s prestigious Lens Awards.

Created by ABP, the UK’s largest port operator, the film helps tell the story of ABP’s sustainability journey and celebrates the launch of the company’s first ever sustainability strategy ‘Ready for Tomorrow’. With a female protagonist, the film invites audiences to see the world through the eyes of a woman who progresses through different stages of her life and maritime career, whilst witnessing and helping deliver various green energy infrastructure projects enabled by ABP’s ports.

She travels from Immingham up on the Humber, where she sees the growth of green hydrogen and carbon capture and storage to Port Talbot in Wales, where the exciting floating offshore wind industry is in bloom. Along the way, she meets different animals from a seal to kittiwakes, all serving as a reminder that industrial progress needs to go hand in hand with protecting biodiversity to create a sustainable future.

An original scored soundtrack was created especially for the project as well as a voiceover delivered by a woman in her 50s, in an effort to address the noticeable absence of these types of voices in the majority of B2B corporate videos.

Max Harris, ABP Head of Strategy and Sustainability, said: “We are very proud of what we have achieved with the ‘The Voyage’. We see it as a tool to highlight the important role ports are playing in decarbonising the UK. It was a very rewarding project and I would like to thank our team and Polar Media who helped bring this vision to life.

“We hope the film is accessible for people from all ages and backgrounds who may be unfamiliar with what we do in the ports industry. The low-poly animated style also set the creative for the other assets in our ‘Ready for Tomorrow’ sustainability strategy campaign, including school competition posters, documents and more.”

As part of its goal to appeal to the younger generation, this video also reached school pupils aged 8-10 years across England, Scotland and Wales. To achieve this, ABP launched a sustainability-themed ‘Ready for Tomorrow’ school competition in May 2023, encouraging pupils living in coastal communities to make their schools more sustainable.

Drawing inspiration from ABP’s own Net Zero sustainability strategy, the competition was open to pupils across the UK. To help generate ideas, pupils were encouraged to watch the ‘The Voyage’ video and read an age-appropriate strategy summary, which aims to convey the official ABP strategy’s key messages and focus areas such as greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, biodiversity and waste and water management in a more accessible way.

Annabelle, the 9-year-old competition winner from a school in Lowestoft, said: "I felt shocked when I won it, because normally I never win things. The competition was fun to do, and I really enjoyed it. It was great talking about what we could do to help the school and the environment".

Spread across ABP’s regions, participating schools were situated in coastal communities in the Humber, Solent, East Anglia, Southwest England, Scotland and Wales. Winners and runners up were selected in each of these locations and received prizes including book vouchers and school donations. Winners were also be invited to attend ABP’s Annual Review afternoon tea reception at the Houses of Parliament in London. 

Kathy Tsola, Co-head of VFX and Animation department at Polar Media, commented: “We loved working with ABP on `The Voyage`, creating our protagonist's journey through sustainability. As creators and artists, we always find it exciting to work on projects that combine a great story with characters and scenic environments, but the sustainable message of the story as well as the impact we are seeing the film have on coastal communities and schools make this extra rewarding.”