Cristina Aleixendri Munoz is the COO and Co-founder of bound4blue, a Spanish company which is actively working to make the shipping industry more sustainable and eco-friendly.
Forbes 30 under 30 recognized Cristina as one of the most promising young professionals and included her in its 2019 European list.
The shipping industry is one of the highest consumers of natural resources. According to bound4blue, the cargo vessels are currently consuming up to 4 tons of fuel per hour which can represent up to 80% of their operating costs. The industry is also producing an unsustainable amount of pollutant emissions.
The goal of bound4blue is to cut-off fuel consumption to make maritime transport more efficient and sustainable. To this end, the team at bound4blue has designed an innovative foldable wingsail which uses available and free wind power as complementary propulsion for vessels.
It’s a wonderful solution: elegant by design with superior efficiency.
I was curious to know more about Cristina’s work so I invited her to answer a few questions.
Here is the interview:
1. Your company is about providing organizations with clean and sustainable solutions.
When did sustainability become one of your interests?
I would love to say that I have been interested in sustainability since I was really young. The truth is that, although I thought I was aware of it, I must admit that I was “sustainable blinded” until I co-founded bound4blue in 2014.
During all these years I have had the opportunity to meet amazing companies that are also giving a solution to global problems that protect the environment while assuring the financial viability and impacting positively on our society. bound4blue has opened my eyes to my own blindness and made me consider things I had not previously considered before.
Today, we can find solutions to address the global challenges we face. Sustainability is not only part of bound4blue’s DNA but is nowadays also part of my life.
2. What challenges did you encounter while building the wingsail system?
bound4blue offers a state-of-the-art technology based on the ancient concept of sailing but using 21st-century technology. The main challenge has been taking existing technology in an advanced form and adapting it to merchant shipping requirements.
It took us a lot of time to design folding and unfolding mechanisms which would strike an optimum balance between its price and the simplicity of the manufacturing process, without compromising safety.
Security was one of the main concerns we had and the main issue we have overcome. We have designed a safe wingsail in harsh weather conditions and power failure. In the event of full power loss, the wingsail is able to fold without power thanks to the systems used to fold/unfold it. Also, the wingsail operational maximum load is selected according to the vessel performances and the expected sailing areas. The system ensures that the maximum operational load is not surpassed by controlling wingsail angle of attack and/or folding the wingsail with our automated control system.
3. Share with us your vision of the future.
I read a few days ago that, in order to sustain our current lifestyles, three planets would be required by 2050. Clearly, we do not have 3 planets to make it. All the choices we make every day have an impact on our planet and we need to vastly increase our efforts and take action now to achieve a more sustainable future.Cristina Aleixendri Munoz @bound4blue: All the choices we make every day have an impact on our planet and we need to vastly increase our efforts and take action now to achieve a more sustainable future. Click To Tweet
It is not yet clear what our sustainable future will look like. Fortunately, people are starting to be more aware of issues surrounding sustainability and are becoming more conscious. I am very optimistic that things will change for the better.
With all the technologies available (and with more continuously appearing) we can do what has never been done before and push humanity forward, helping us achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.
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