New Future at the Volcom Pipe Pro 2013

Posted in New Future on 01/24/13

For the last 2 years, we’ve made a commitment to make sustainability an integral part of planning for the Volcom Pipe Pro. This year is no different and we’re happy to say that, in fact, this year…it might just be our best story yet!

Our sustainability commitment is wrapped up into what we call New Future. It’s an outlook that believes that the New (and better) Future looks a lot brighter than things do today. It’s a future where we’re more conscious, more efficient, more resourceful and more respectful of the Earth’s resources. It’s also a future that doesn’t just magically appear – it’s created day in, day out by the decisions we all make at home and at the workplace.

Here then, are some of the decisions we have made this year, to enhance our commitment to running a sustainable surf event here on the North Shore of Hawaii…

Sustainable Surf Event
If you saw the Volcom Fiji Pro last year, then hopefully you learned about Deep Blue Surfing Events™. This certification by the non-profit Sustainable Surf.org assesses surf contests on a set of sustainability-focused criteria: Waste, Community Support, Climate Change, Energy and Transportation. Our event in Fiji was rated as a Deep Blue Surfing Event ™ and this year’s Volcom Pipe Pro will shoot to achieve the same. We’ll be working with the science-minded sustainability gurus over there to make sure that what we’re doing can stand up to even the most seasoned critic.

Carbon Neutral
According to the Deep Blue guidelines, we’ve committed to measuring and accounting for the carbon footprint of our event. Why is this important? Well, it’s clear and unanimously agreed upon by the scientific community that our planet’s climate is changing – and not always in a pleasant way. For surfers, this is NOT good news. In fact, as the planet warms and sea temperatures increase, we’ll see a swelling in tides and there aren’t many surf breaks that appreciate a super high tide…Pipeline on a permanent 8’ high tide anyone?

So for us, we know that there will be emissions created from our travels there and back and emissions that will be created during the running of the event. These Greenhouse Gas Emissions will be quantified by Sustainable Surf and offset with our event partner Carbonfund. An offset is a means for making up for the damage we’ve done, by investing in a carbon-positive program somewhere in the world that can at least undo the damage that we’ve done (in terms of carbon) sometime in the near future.

Surf Credits
Much like a carbon offset, think of Surf Credits like a Community Impact offset. Very often when we travel for surf, we can go for days without remembering that there’s a community there feeling the impact in some way (positive and/or negative, depending on how we’re traveling and/or behaving) of our adventures. Our friends at the Center for Surf Research at San Diego State University and iJourneyGreen.org have come up with an awesome way to begin the process of giving back to the places you visit for surf.

It’s simple, visit surfcredits.org, choose the destination you’re visiting and purchase a $25 “credit.” Monies go back to on-the-ground community projects that are doing great work, and it begins to put one in touch with the area being traveled to. The great thing about the concept is that you’ll often be rewarded for doing the right thing.

For the duration of the Volcom Pipe Pro, and while supplies last, the first 100 fans to purchase surf credits receive a Volcom Pipe Pro t-shirt (available only in the US) and will be entered into a grand prize opportunity to be announced during the contest. Do good, get rewarded!

Additionally, we’ll be purchasing Surf Credits for all of our Volcom staff who visit O’ahu for the contest.

Community Partnerships
We’re proud to support Boys & Girls Club (BGCH) of Hawaii through the sales of our Hawaii Only products – all of which are a part of our Give Back Series. For the program’s 3rd year, a portion of the sales of all those products will be donated directly back to BGCH to support the great work they are doing here with many of the Island’s youth. BGCH is committed to inspiring Hawaii’s youth to become responsible citizens.

Additionally, we’re proud to support North Shore Community Land Trust (NSCLT) through our 1% for the Planet membership on our Volcom V.Co-logical products. Since 2006, 1% of the sales of these products are put aside each year to contribute to environmentally focused non-profits and NSCLT was one of our earliest picks to support. Committed to protecting the natural and cultural character of Hawaii’s North Shore, NSCLT works with both private and public sectors and applying this successful formula, NSCLT is protecting one of the world’s last remaining accessible wild coastlines near a major metropolitan area.

Come down to the contest and visit both organizations on the beach to learn more about the great work they’re doing.

Additionally, Sunset Elementary will remain a partial benefactor in the sales of our Pipe Pro merch on the beach there at Ehukai Beach Park. Last year we were able to raise thousands of dollars to give back to the local elementary school – we’re looking forward to doing the same.

Laslty, but definitely not least, we honor the legacy of Sion Milosky again this year, as we raise money for the Sion MIlosky Memorial Fund through the sales of Volcom Pipe Pro contest merchandise. A portion of all sales from contest merchandise done online will go to directly to the Fund.

Zero Waste & On-Site Sustainability Management
We’re lucky enough to be teaming up again with Jen Homcy’s TR3EES organization. They do a killer job on the ground helping us manage our sustainability priorities (local food, reusables, recycling, composting, etc.) and have become a great ally. We expect to do the same, if not more, as last year in regards to managing our waste. Last year, food scraps were diverted to a local farm for composting and carbon ash and most all of what was recyclable was captured and diverted form the landfill. Stay tuned for what’s in store this year.

Reusables & Repurposed Items
Each year, we’ve been happy to feature items made from last year’s materials, items made with organic cotton and/or recycled PET, and reusable water bottles and utensils. The same goes for this year – the totes for staff and competitors are again made form last year’s vinyl banners, our reusable stainless steel water bottles (for use at the bulk water stations, compliments of Menehune Water!) are quality MIZU, and our coffee mugs are designed by Sunset Elementary kids with their own New Future messages!

As the contest unfolds, we’ll be dishing out the details on each of these initiatives so stay tuned for all the action in and out of the water!