Volcom Pipe Pro 2014

What is a Deep Blue Surfing Event?

A Deep Blue Surfing Event™  is a more “Ocean Friendly” event, that sets a clear path for reducing environmental impacts of a professional surfing contest, while also providing social benefits for the local community. The program was developed through a partnership with the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) – North America that produced the first ever set of “Green Guidelines” for surfing contests in 2012.

Deep Blue Surfing Events seek to address issues directly related to the local contest area including waste reduction, protection of  natural resources, and the building of stronger communities.

Events with this designation also reduce direct threats to the global sport of surfing itself, such as: sea level rise, ocean acidification, and the loss of the world’s living coral reefs, which leading scientific institutions warn are already harming our oceans, waves and beaches.

Video describing a Deep Blue Surfing Event:

Volcom has produced a video telling the story of sustainability at the Volcom Pipe Pro 2014, filmed and edited by Nathan Peracciny. The world Premier of this film is on June 8th for World Oceans Day Hawaii, Doris Duke Theater, 900 Kinau St. Tune in to Volcom.com for updates.

Evaluation of Sustainability Efforts at the 2014 Volcom Pipe Pro

To receive a Deep Blue Surfing 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 2014 Volcom Pipe Pro has exceeded the minimum requirements of all five categories measured (Waste Diversion, Renewable Energy, Community Outreach, Climate Change and Transportation). It has been designated as a Deep Blue Surfing Event by Sustainable Surf.

The 2014 Volcom Pipe Pro (VPP) contest has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability efforts. This was particularly aided by the choice to partner with local Oahu event greening organizations Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and Tr3ees to implement waste diversion. They instituted a comprehensive effort to reduce waste going to the landfill through upstream waste diversion, onsite recycling and local composting. Lessons learned from the 2013 VPP helped to achieve much higher performance on waste diversion.

The 2013 VPP was the first Hawaiian ASP surfing event to be powered by biodiesel, and to become carbon neutral. The 2014 VPP continued this achievement and provided significant support for the local community. Traffic congestion and vehicle emissions were also further reduced through the use of shuttle services, and the welcomed use of bicycles and skateboards by event staff, competitors and locals alike.

Detailed information and analysis on the five categories of event impacts:

ASP Green Guidelines Recommendation: Implement a comprehensive management and diversion strategy to limit event waste. Minimum goal is 25% of total event waste is diverted from landfill.

* The 2014 VPP has exceeded the minimum goal for Waste Diversion with a total diversion ratio of 82%

In 2013, the waste diversion ratio was 65% overall. The data showed that waste diversion performance was much higher in the event staff areas vs. the public spectator areas. In staff areas, it was easy to place multiple collection bins, and the staff did a good job of putting waste into the proper receptacles. In the public areas, it was difficult to manage waste because spectators would throw all recycling into the trash bins maintained by the City and County of Honolulu.

In 2014, overall waste diversion performance improved to 82%. Waste diversion in public spaces was improved by special public bins built by Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. These bins made it easy for spectators to put their waste into the proper receptacle for recycling, compost, and trash. The bins were staffed by Sustainable Coastlines volunteers, who helped educate spectators in real-time.

Specific actions taken at the event to reach that impressive ratio include:

  • Food waste, utensils, napkins and cardboard were taken daily by Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii to local Waihuena Farm, right across the street from Pipeline, to be prepared for composting. The main composting efforts for food scraps was done by local organization EachOneTeachOne Farms, using the innovative “Bokashi Bucket” method. All composted material will be used to fertilize local organic crops sold to the North Shore community.
  • All plastic, aluminum, and glass bottles were collected daily by Sustainable Coastlines staff and recycled.
  • Single use plastic water bottles were banned onsite at the event HQ. Other beverages in non-recyclable, single-use drink containers were not sourced, in an effort to reduce total waste generation. All contestants and Volcom staff were given stainless steel refillable bottles, and drinking water at the event by was provided by the Menehune Water company, utilizing water refill stations.
  • Staff were given hand-painted mugs from the kids at Sunset Elementary to encourage them to use only that mug and avoid single-use cups.
  • As with prior events, the contest banners have been saved and will be upcycled into one-of-a-kind tote bags for staff and competitors at the 2015 event.
  • Waste diversion numbers:
    • Recycled materials = 301 lbs
    • Composted materials = 458 lbs
    • Landfill materials = 171 lbs
    • Total weight of diverted materials = 759 lbs
    • Total weight of all materials = 930 lbs
    • Waste diversion ratio = 82%

Waste diversion videos. Filmed and edited by Nathan Peracciny.

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii
Bokashi Bucket for composting

Photos of waste diversion efforts:

Conclusion and suggested improvements for Waste Diversion:
The 2014 achieved excellent performance for overall waste diversion. It is very difficult to divert more than 80% of total waste generated by an event. Lessons learned from data collection in 2013 helped create a more effective strategy for 2014, which is a targeted benefit that comes from collecting data and producing a performance report. Volcom and its partners are to be congratulated for their excellence and commitment in reducing the waste footprint of the Volcom Pipe Pro.

For 2015, we recommend continuation of the existing strategy, and further empowerment of Sustainable Coastlines and its partners to find new ways to improve the waste diversion performance.

ASP Green Guidelines Recommendation: Source significant portion of power from clean, renewable energy sources. Minimum goal is 25% renewable energy utilization for event’s power needs.

* The 2014 VVP has exceeded the minimum goal for sourcing Renewable Energy by sourcing biodeisel for renewable energy used to power the event and webcast

  • The Volcom Pipe Pro partnered with Hawaii-based Pacific Biodiesel, who produces biodiesel made locally on Oahu from recycled vegetable oil collected from restaurants. This fuel powered both large contest generators that provided the off-grid power for the entire event. Total biodiesel fuel use for the event was 200 gallons of biodiesel fuel, at a 60/40 blend.
  • The Volcom Pipe Pro 2013 was the first ASP surf event in Hawaii to be powered with biodiesel. The 2014 Volcom Pipe Pro continued in the use of biodiesel at the event. In 2013, the generator vendor used an 80% blend of biodiesel (B80). In 2014, the vendor reduced the ratio to a 60% blend of biodiesel, which increased the reliability of operation of the generator.
  • The increased use of locally produced biodiesel will create jobs, reduce Hawaii’s energy dependence on fossil fuels, and reduce environmental impacts while protecting the ocean. Pacific Biodiesel is one of the world’s leading biofuel companies and is a key factor in Hawaii’s sustainable future.

Photos of the renewable energy efforts:

Conclusion and suggested improvements for Energy:
The 2014 VPP used a significant amount of biodiesel, although at a slightly lower percentage than the 2013 VPP. This was a decision made by the diesel generator vendor in order to improve reliability of the generators, which is the most important factor of all. While this is a small step backwards, the use of B60 biodiesel is still a very positive result.

For 2015, Volcom could work with the diesel generator vendor in advance to test the generators using a much higher blend of biodiesel. In theory, the use of B100 is possible, but the vendor would need resources to test their machinery with B100 and gain confidence that it would be 100% reliable under contest conditions. Additionally, Volcom should look to put solar panels on the roof of the Volcom House at Pipeline.

ASP Green Guidelines Recommendation: Support and showcase the efforts of local environmental and social organizations, and include them as stakeholders for possible event legacy efforts. Minimum goal is to support at least one NGO working on a local issue relevant to the event.

* The The 2014 Volcom Pipe Pro has exceeded the minimum goal for Community Support by providing support and visibility for four community group partners

The event supported the following environmental and social organizations operating in Oahu’s North Shore community:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii: Sales of Volcom’s ‘Hawaii Only’ products that are part of their Give Back series, go to support BGCH’s work to inspire Hawaii’s youth to become responsible citizens.
  • Live Like Sion Memorial Fund, honoring the legacy of Sion Milosky, supported through sales of Volcom merchandise and through a giving campaign operated during the contest.
  • North Shore Community Land Trust: Volcom’s 1% for the Planet membership on their V.Co-logical products helps support this local organization, committed to protecting the natural and cultural character of Hawaii’s North Shore.
  • Sunset Elementary School: Benefactor in the sales of Pipe Pro merchandise sold at the contest.
  • Surf Credits: Buying a Surf Credit allows traveling surfers to support environmental and social projects operated by accredited local NGOs, in the local communities they visit while traveling. Volcom encouraged surfers to buy surf credits during the contest by giving away free t-shirts to buyers and through repeated announcements during the live web broadcast.

In all, Volcom donated over $60,000 to the causes listed above.

Volcom also provided tents and tabling area for local non-profits, Give Clean Water and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. Give Clean Water also conducted an educational assembly at the Sunset Elementary School.

Community Support videos filmed and edited by Nathan Peracciny:

Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii
North Shore Community Land Trust
Surf Credits

Conclusion and suggested improvements for Community Support:
The 2014 VPP achieved excellent performance in supporting local North Shore organizations, schools, and causes. The total money raised and exposure generated is substantial. This level of support should be continued or exceeded in 2015.

ASP 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. Minimum Goal: 50% of CO2 footprint of event offset or mitigated.

* The 2014 VPP has exceeded the minimum goal for Climate Change through offsetting of the entire CO2 footprint, to make it a “carbon neutral” event

The total carbon footprint has been calculated by Sustainable Surf at 259 metric tons CO2e. Mitigating the event’s CO2 footprint helps reduce direct threats to surfing from the effects of climate change/global warming including sea level rise, ocean acidification, and the loss of coral reefs.

The complete carbon footprint includes:

  • Air travel for all invited WCT surfers and personal entourage, Media, ASP and Volcom staff
  • Fuel use for power generators. (Includes lifecycle CO2 emissions from biodiesel and petroleum diesel, used at a 60/40 blend)
  • Emissions related to food production/consumption and lodging

The carbon (CO2) footprint from this year’s Volcom Pipe Pro event will be 100% offset through a partnership with Sustainable Surf (via Volcom’s 1% for the Planet pledge) that will source the highest quality, 3rd party certified carbon offsets. The chosen offsets produce both environmental and social benefits from the Mai Ndombe REDD+ project. This project is developed by Wildlife Works, an award winning organization based in California’s San Francisco bay area.

“REDD” stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, which helps forest communities restructure their economies towards sustainable land use and forest conservation (instead of clear-cutting and other unsustainable land use strategies). A REDD+ project is a verified climate change mitigation strategy that helps stop destruction of the world’s forests and reduces CO2 emissions by deliberate enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

Wildlife Works’ REDD+ projects protect threatened forests, wildlife, and directly support rural communities by protecting over 740,000 acres of highly threatened Mai Ndombe rainforest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is the second largest intact rainforest in the world, and has exceptional biodiversity including elephants and bonobos. The carbon financing from the project provides direct benefits to 50,000 Congolese villagers in the form of jobs, schools, health clinics, improved food security through better agronomy and redevelopment of native fish stocks, and capacity building of local NGOs and Community Based Organizations. This project has been validated and verified under both the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB), receiving a Gold Level status from the CCB for exceptional biodiversity and climate benefits.

Learn more about Wildlife Works at www.wildlifeworks.com and more about the Mai Ndombe REDD+ project at the Mai Ndombe Facebook page.

Photos of the Mai Ndombe REDD+ carbon offset project:

Conclusion and suggested improvements for Climate Change:
The 2014 VPP is a carbon neutral event, utilizing very high quality REDD+ carbon offsets. The boundaries of the carbon calculation exceeds all other major sporting events, by including emissions from: (1) all staff and competitors travel, food and lodging, (2) all energy use by the event, and (3) local transportation for all spectators to the event. This performance is exceptional.

The commitment to carbon neutrality is commendable and is recommended to continue. The climate change performance could be improved by incorporating the lifecycle carbon footprint of materials used at the event, and by collecting better data for spectator travel.

ASP Green Guidelines Recommendation: Enable shuttle services, source hybrid/alternative energy powered vehicles, and encourage the use of public and alternative transportation for event spectators. Minimum Goal: provide shuttle service to and from event for event staff, and/or encourage and facilitate the use of human powered modes of transport such as biking, skateboarding and walking by local spectators.

* The 2014 VPP has met the minimum goal for providing greener transportation options with shuttle services for event staff, athletes and media personnel.

Shuttle services were provided by Turtle Bay Resorts. Contestants, Volcom staff, and media utilized the shuttle service which contributed to reduced traffic congestion and parking issues and an estimated elimination of ~1760 individual passenger miles driven (based on an eight person occupancy of shuttle van, ten mile round trip, twice per day, during the eleven days of the event). That’s roughly the distance of one vehicle driving round trip from San Francisco to San Diego and back again.

Ample bicycle parking was available at the contest site, because there is a paved pedestrian path that runs parallel to the main road (a.k.a. Kam Hwy), many contestants, spectators, and even Volcom staff commuted to the event via bicycle, skateboard or by simply walking.

Report Acknowledgements:

Conclusion and suggested improvements for Transportation:
The 2014 VPP achieved good performance by working with Turtle Bay to provide shuttle service to guests staying at Turtle Bay. This is enough to meet the minimum requirements of a Deep Blue Surfing Event designation.

However the primary transportation impact of any surf contest on the North Shore of Oahu comes from spectator travel via automobile. This is a difficult problem to solve, yet finding a viable public transportation alternative is the next step in improving the sustainable transportation performance of the event. Perhaps Volcom could research the feasibility of a shuttle service from Haleiwa, and look for public and private partnerships that could help bring a solution to reality.


The authors on this report are Michael Stewart and Kevin Whilden of Sustainable Surf, with assistance from Kahi Pacarro of Sustainable Coastlines who provided data collected from the Waste Diversion efforts. Special thanks to Nathan Peracciny for the amazing work done to document all the sustainability efforts at the 2013 VVP through video and photos (used extensively throughout this report), Jim DiCarlo at EachOneTeachOne Farms for facilitating the composting, and to Kahi Pacarro at Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii for being a committed pillar of the North Shore sustainability community.

Extra Special thanks go to Derek Sabori, Director of Sustainability at Volcom, for his leadership and general stoke for wanting to highlight Volcom’s major surf contests as a platform for showcasing how the surf culture and the surfing industry are pushing sustainability forward in the most engaging way possible.

Super Extra Special thanks goes to both Volcom Executive Chairman Richard “Wooly” Woolcott and CEO Jason Steris for backing these sustainability efforts 100%, once again demonstrating that Volcom as a brand is interested in leading the trends in sustainability and not simply following them.