The Inertia Health Editor
The Pipe Pro: mean and green. Photo: Volcom/Beilmann

The Pipe Pro: mean and green. Photo: Volcom/Beilmann

The Inertia

For the third year in a row, Volcom has partnered with Sustainable Surf to certify the Volcom Pipe Pro as a “Deep Blue” surf event. To earn the certification, the event must meet the minimum standards in two out of five categories including waste diversion, energy efficiency, community support, carbon footprint reduction, and provision of greener transportation. However, for the past three years Volcom has gone above and beyond to exceed standards in all five categories, making the Pipe Pro one of the most sustainable surf events on the planet.

What was once an initiative building upon Volcom’s Hawaiian“Give Back Series” gradually transitioned to the comprehensive event that the Pipe Pro is today. Volcom’s VP of Sustainability, Derek Sabori, says that while the responsibility aspect of the event began as a “program sort of running on the fringe has now become one where most everyone is in the know, aware of the expectations and guidelines we’ve set forth, and is helping to make it more and more successful.” Through a successful with the Sustainable Surf “Deep Blue” certification program, Volcom has held itself to the highest level of responsibility, and it has truly set the bar in terms of putting on a sustainable surf event.

The event has been incredibly successful in all five aspects of certification. In terms of waste diversion, last year’s Pipe Pro wildly exceeded the 25% minimum diversion and accomplished an 82% total diversion ratio. The Pipe Pro accomplished this by providing separate bins for recycling, compost, and trash alongside the waste sorting help of Sustainable Coastlines volunteers. To meet the renewable energy requirement, the Pipe Pro partnered with Pacific Biodiesel (produced locally on Oahu) to power the event’s off-the-grid power generators. The 2014 Pipe Pro worked with the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, Live Like Sion Memorial Fund, North Shore Community Land Trust, Sunset Elementary School, and Surf Credits to provide community support and visibility for local organizations. In total, Volcom donated $60,000 to these groups. In terms of the event’s impact on climate change, last year Volcom offset 100% of the Pipe Pro’s carbon footprint via 3rd party certified carbon offsets, making it a completely carbon neutral competition. Volcom also upped the event’s green transportation by providing shuttles services in order to reduce traffic and parking issues on the North Shore.

With the success of last year’s event (and previous years), Volcom will largely maintain the same framework for this year’s “Deep Blue” event requirements. Sabori emphasizes that Volcom plans to continue raising the bar of sustainability and responsibility at the Pipe Pro year after year. He reasons that, “once you build a responsible framework into your business, it’s not likely you’ll go back to the old ways. It feels too good knowing you’re taking account for the impacts you create, doing what you can to offset them, and hopefully creating a positive impact in the community.”


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