Fiji ISA Worlds SUP & Paddleboard Championship 2016

The 2016 Fiji International Surfing Association (ISA) Worlds has been designated as a Deep Blue Event™. A Deep Blue Event is a more “Ocean Friendly” event that sets a clear path for reducing environmental and community impacts of a professional surfing contest. This sustainability report is a transparent description of the sustainability performance of the event, and includes measured data, photos and videos, and suggestions for improvement. It is based on the international standard for sustainable event reporting – the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

The event’s Deep Blue designation was sponsored by Starboard SUP, who also offset the entire carbon footprint of the event.

Zane Schweitzer, Starboard Team Rider and Sustainable Surf Ambassador, road his ECOBOARD to a Gold Medal finish in the Surf SUP division at pumping Cloudbreak

Zane Schweitzer, Starboard Team Rider and Sustainable Surf Ambassador, rode his Verified ECOBOARD to a Gold Medal finish for Team Hawaii in the ISA’s Surf SUP division at pumping Cloudbreak (Photo: ISA / Ben Reed)

Deep Blue Events address impacts directly related to the local contest area, including waste reduction, protection of natural resources, and the building of stronger communities. They also reduce direct threats to the global sport of surfing itself, such as: sea level riseocean acidification, and the loss of the world’s living coral reefs, which leading scientific institutions warn are already harming our oceans, waves and beaches.

To receive a Deep Blue Event designation, an event is required to reduce environmental and social impacts of the event. It must also develop a data collection plan to measure performance on impact reduction, and this data must show that it has met minimum goals for at least two of the five major categories of environmental and social impacts.

* The 2016 Fiji ISA Worlds has exceeded the minimum requirements in all five categories measured (Waste Diversion, Renewable Energy, Community Outreach, Transportation, and Climate Change).

  1. Waste Diversion: 47% of collected material was diverted from landfill
  2. Renewable Energy: Event facilities powered by solar photovoltaic electricity
  3. Climate Change: 100% of CO2 footprint mitigated (900 tons CO2e)
  4. Community Support: Supported local community organizations
  5. Transportation: centralized boat transportation provided for all athletes and staff

* The 2016 Fiji ISA Worlds has exceeded the minimum requirement for Waste Diversion with a total diversion ratio of 46.9%

Green Guidelines Recommendation: Implement a comprehensive management and diversion strategy to limit event waste, with a minimum requirement of 25% of total event waste is diverted from landfill.

The 2016 Fiji ISA Worlds has shown a strong commitment to waste diversion on the “mothership” vessel managed by South Sea Cruises that carries competitors to competition sites such as Cloudbreak. Waste diversion was also conducted through partnerships with the Rhum-Ba Restaurant and Tavarua Island Resort. The total waste diversion ratio over eight days of the event is 46.9%. Port Denarau marina provided the material recovery center service, which was used to process food waste and recycling generated on the mothership and by the Rhum-Ba restaurant. All food waste was sent to local pig farms, that provide food on the island.

*For a more detailed analysis relating to waste diversion at the event click here

* The 2016 Fiji ISA Worlds has exceeded the minimum requirement for sourcing Renewable Energy by sourcing solar power for renewable energy used at Tavarua Island and Port Denarau Marina 

Green Guidelines Recommendation: Source significant portion of power from clean, renewable energy sources, with a minimum requirement of 25% renewable energy utilization for the event’s power needs.

The main operational headquarters for the event was located inside of the Rhum-Ba and on the grounds of the Port Denarau Marina. The Marina has installed 232kW of solar electric photovoltaic panels on all of the buildings in Port Denarau, including the Rhum-Ba restaurant. This provides the majority of electric power needs for the restaurant and the marina. It also reduces dependence on fossil fuels for energy needs and creates local jobs.

    The live webcast for the event was hosted on Tavarua Island Resort, which uses diesel powered generators. The mothership vessel, which provided an operational platform for much of the event, is diesel fuel-powered – using 6800 litres over the course of the event. Emissions from diesel-powered generators and the mothership have all been offset through the mangroves planted in the Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park.

    *For a more detailed analysis relating to energy use at the event click here

    * The The 2016 Fiji ISA Worlds has exceeded the minimum requirement for Community Support by providing support and visibility for several community group partners

    Green Guidelines Recommendation: Support and showcase the efforts of local environmental and social organizations, and include them as stakeholders for possible event legacy efforts, with a minimum requirement of supporting at least one NGO working on a local issue relevant to the event.

    The ISA and its partners the 2016 event have a legacy of giving back to local Fijian communities.

    The ISA awarded USD $20,000 of Scholarships to 35 young surfers from 21 countries around the world as part of the 2016 ISA Scholarship Program. Two young Fijian surfers, John Vasea and Kiesha Wakeham, were awarded scholarships in 2016.

    Port Denarau Marina supports a diverse range of community programs including: It’s Time Foundation (converting diesel generators to solar power on remote islands), Nadi Primary School (Port Denarau Marina assists with building supplies and the repair and maintenance of school furniture) and Sea Mercy Fiji (providing disaster relief and medical resources for remote islands).

    Tavarua Island Resort supports local villages related to Tavarua Island. The resort has a long history of working with the local community to provide medical and educational resources, water, sanitation and housing infrastructure, and sponsorship and support for sporting teams and local businesses.

    *For a more detailed analysis relating to Community Support at the event click here

    * The 2016 Fiji ISA Worlds has exceeded the minimum requirement for Climate Impact through offsetting 100% of the measured CO2 footprint of the event

    Green Guidelines Recommendation: Calculate the total CO2 footprint of event, and mitigate it by purchasing verified carbon offset credits or otherwise through direct actions taken at event, with a minimum requirement of 50% of CO2 footprint of event offset or mitigated.

    The total overall estimated footprint for the event is 900 tons CO2e. The 2016 Fiji ISA Worlds has offset 100% of these carbon emissions for the event by planting over 4,000 new mangrove trees in Myanmar – courtesy of Starboard SUP. The mangroves are planted in the Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park. Mitigating the event’s CO2 footprint helps reduce direct threats to surfing from climate change/global warming such as: sea level rise, ocean acidification, reduced wave heights and loss of coral reefs globally. Mangrove restoration at the Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park has the following benefits:

    • Mitigate up to five times more CO2 than rainforest trees and reduce escalations of global warming.
    • Reverse devastating effects of destructed natural mangrove forests.
    • Provide up to 50% more sea food with better and secured environment.
    • Filter and clean water, securing environment for sea grass and coral reefs.
    • Generate cooling effect with up to 60,000 BTU per tree.
    • Create high value-added livelihood opportunities to disadvantaged coastal communities by reducing poverty, especially among women and children.
    • Save lives and improve quality of the environment for millions of people in adaptation to climate change.
    • Contribute to social and economic development of a peace-building process in a new democracy.

    *For a more detailed analysis relating to climate change and the event click here

    * The 2016 Fiji ISA Worlds has met the minimum requirement for providing greener transportation options with shuttle services for event staff, athletes and media personnel.

    Green Guidelines Recommendation: Enable shuttle services, source hybrid/alternative energy powered vehicles, and encourage the use of public and alternative transportation for event spectators, with a minimum requirement of providing shuttle services to and from the event for event staff, and/or encouraging and facilitating the use of human powered modes of transport such as biking, skateboarding and walking by local spectators.

    The ISA provided transportation on a “mothership” vessel operated by South Sea Cruises.  This mothership transported all of the athletes to and from the competition site at Cloudbreak and elsewhere in the area.  Additionally a barge was used store and transport all of the athletes boards. The mothership vessel and barge used approximately 7300 litres of diesel fuel over the course of the event. By using the mothership and barge, the ISA reduced the need for athletes to hire their own boat transportation to compete at the event.  This significantly reduced the emissions from burning fuel and protects the live coral reefs from excessive anchoring. In addition to reducing emissions the use of a single ‘mothership’ for the event allowed for a centralised waste management system (increasing waste diversion) and reduced impacts from anchoring.

    In an effort to reduce direct impacts on the local environment, Tavarua Island Resort is currently in the process of swapping out the dated two-stroked outboard engines on their shuttle boats, to dramatically more efficient and less polluting four stroke engines.

    *For a more detailed analysis relating to transportation at the event click here

    ### The authors on this report are Kevin Whilden, Michael Stewart and Brett Giddings of Sustainable Surf