Volcom Pipe Pro 2015 — Additional Information

This page provides additional details and media on each of the five categories of sustainable impact reduction for the event. Also see the main page of this report.

The 2015 VPP total waste diversion rate was 65%, a decrease from the diversion rates of 82% in 2014 and the same as 65% in 2013. The total amount of waste collected was over twice the amount of waste in 2014, because Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and the VPP implemented waste diversion over a much larger area.  This included the contest secured areas, and more public areas in the beach park, and the beach itself.  Additional diversion systems were set up in the VIP areas, and at the VIP BBQ.  There were also daily beach clean up actions on both the set up and break down days. This year, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii used a new style of recycling tents and had six staff supporting the effort per competition day sorting the waste, recyclables and compostables.

The lower diversion ratio performance vs. the prior 2014 event can be attributed to several factors. First, food compost is very heavy relative to other waste materials, and the 2014 event had a much higher percentage of food waste because food was prepared on-site. Food waste comprised 49% of all waste in 2014 vs. 33% in 2015. Second, the significantly increased area of waste diversion coverage in public spaces produced a higher volume of overall of waste material. All collected waste totaled 2080 lbs in 2015 vs 930 in 2014. The material from public spaces included a lower recyclable content, and also had food waste from food truck vendors that served on non-compostable serve-ware.  It is very difficult to separate food waste from non-compostable serve-ware, and thus a good portion of this compostable material had to go to landfill. All of these factors lowered the waste diversion ratio, even though a much larger total amount of waste was diverted vs the 2014 event.

All acceptable food waste, utensils, napkins and cardboard were taken daily by Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii crew to local Waihuena Farm, across the street from Pipeline, to be prepared for composting. The main composting effort for food scraps was done by local organization Each One Teach One Farms, using the innovative “Bokashi Bucket” method. All composted material will be used to fertilize local organic crops sold to the North Shore community.  Plastic, aluminum, and glass bottles were collected daily by Sustainable Coastlines staff and recycled.  HI-5 recyclables were given to a local family from the community.

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.  Water refill stations, provided by the Menehune Water Company, supplied drinking water at the event.  Last year, the 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 — many of those were still seen on site.  As with prior events, the contest banners have been saved and will be up-cycled into one-of-a-kind tote bags for staff and competitors at the 2016 event, or will be sold directly through Volcom retail outlets.

The total waste diversion numbers:

  • Recycled materials = 497 lbs – 23.9%
  • Cardboard materials = 161 lbs – 7.7%
  • Composted materials = 689 lbs – 33.1%
  • Landfill materials = 733 lbs – 35.2%
  • Total weight of diverted materials = 1,347 lbs – 64.8%
  • Total weight of all materials = 2,080 lbs – 100%
  • Waste diversion ratio = 65%

For the first time at a North Shore surf contest, the VPP implemented waste diversion during set up and teardown phases of the event. There is a significant amount of scaffolding and infrastructure at the event, which takes three days to set up and break down.  The crew doing the setup needs food and water, and generates waste. Prior events provided bottled water and no recycling options, and the setup crew asked specifically to get the same waste diversion and water stations as contest days.   This captured and diverted a significant waste stream from the event.

Suggested improvements for Waste

The 2015 achieved excellent performance for overall waste diversion. The VPP increased their waste diversion effort by taking on extra areas around the event, and by including the set up and breakdown days. Lessons learned from data collection with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii in 2013 and 2014 helped create a more effective strategy for 2015. Volcom and its partners are to be congratulated for their continued excellence and commitment in reducing the waste footprint of the Volcom Pipe Pro.

For 2016, waste diversion performance could be significantly improved by encouraging outside food vendors to use compostable serve-ware.  Waste diversion efficiency could also be improved by setting up a post-collection sorting table, or “dirty MRF” similar to the effort from Waste Busters at the Vans US Open 2014.


The biodiesel blend used in 2013 was 80% biodiesel and in 2014 it was reduced to 60% for increased reliability.  This year, the VPP was able to increase the blend back up to 80% biodiesel.  The total fuel usage for the event was 325 gallons of B80 biodiesel (20% Petroleum) for all days.

In addition to supporting the local economy and community, the use of biodiesel sets an example to help reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Shifting to a more sustainable fuel source will reduce environmental impacts and protect the ocean, and reduce the carbon footprint of the event.

Suggested improvements for Energy

The VPP has used high percentages of renewable energy for three years running.  This is outstanding performance. We recommend that they aim for 100% biodiesel usage in 2016. We also advocate the use of solar panels at the Volcom House at Pipeline, and recommend that Volcom stay aware of the changing policy landscape of residential solar in Hawaii.


The total amount donated to local community groups was $79,000.

The Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii received $46,500.  This came from the year’s sales of Volcom’s ‘Hawaii Only’ products.  This was part of their Give Back series that supports the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii to inspire Hawaii’s youth to become responsible citizens. Prior to the VPP some of the Volcom team also put on beach days and surf lessons with some of the kids from the Boys & Girls Club.

The Live Like Sion Memorial Fund received $18,500.  The Live Like Sion Memorial Fund honors the legacy of Sion Milosky.  Funds were raised by sales of specific Sion-related Volcom merchandise, hourly prize give aways during the webcast, and donations throughout the VPP website during the contest.

The Sunset Elementary School received $14,000.  This money was raised through the sales of Volcom Pipe Pro merchandise sold by their PTA at the contest site.

The Talk Story event was another avenue that the VPP was able to showcase an additional social commitment.  On January 31, a live event focused solely on sustainability and surfing was held at Surfer [The Bar] at the Turtle Bay Resort.  Participants included Dave Wassel, Alex Gray, Derek Sabori, Kahi Pacarro, Nate Peracciny, and Jen Homcy.  Derek moderated a panel discussion with the entire group focusing on each of their areas of expertise. The Volcom film ‘Sustainable by Design’ 2014 was also screened, and the event ended with a lively performance of the Jimmy Weeks Project.

Suggested improvements for Community Support

The 2015 VPP provided excellent community support. The total monetary donation is an impressive figure, and Volcom is commended by giving much-needed dollars to the local community. This level of support should be continued into 2016.


The 2015 Volcom Pipe Pro has offset 100% of the carbon emissions for the event with verified carbon credits from the Wildlife Works Carbon Kasigau Corridor, Kenya REDD+ Project. The total overall estimated footprint for the event is 360 tons CO2e.

The total carbon emission data includes:

  • Air travel and airport transit for all invited pro surfers and a portion of their travel partners, Media, WSL and Volcom staff (97.7% of total).
  • Biodiesel and petroleum-diesel power generators for the contest generators (.3% of total).
  • Emissions related to hospitality for athletes and staff (hotel and food production)(1.5% of total).
  • Emissions from spectator transportation to the event (.5% of total).

The carbon (CO2) footprint from this year’s Volcom Pipe Pro event will be 100% offset through a partnership with Sustainable Surf that will source the highest quality, 3rd party certified carbon offsets. The chosen offsets produce both environmental and social benefits from the Kasigau Corridor 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, helping 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.

The Wildlife Works Carbon Kasigau Corridor, Kenya REDD+ Project protects over 500,000 acres of threatened dryland forest, wildlife, and rural communities in southeastern Kenya.  The Kasigau Corridor is formed between two National Parks, Tsavo East and Tsavo West.  The Kasigau Corridor is also home to large diversity of mammals, birds and a great number of IUCN Red List species like Cheetahs, Lions, Grevy’s zebra, and over 500 seasonal African elephants.  The main threat to this area is slash and burn agriculture, which is addressed in these six strategic areas:

  • Agricultural intensification
  • Job creation and economic alternatives
  • Physical protection and monitoring
  • Fuel wood substitution
  • Agroforestry
  • Social benefits

The project has already seen many successes in protecting endangered species, building new schools, and implementing new water catchment and clean water supplies in the area.  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 Kaigau Corridor REDD+ project here.

Suggested improvements for Climate Impact

The 2015 VPP has achieved an excellent level of performance in reducing its climate change impact.  It is using high quality REDD+ carbon offsets for the 3rd year in a row, to offset 100% of calculated emissions. The boundaries of the carbon calculation are very broad and include emissions from: (1) all staff and competitors travel, food and lodging, (2) all energy use by the event, and (3) local transportation for spectators to the event. The VPP’s 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 athlete’s companions and for spectator travel.  Another potential area for improvement is to help spectators develop awareness and inspire them to reduce their own carbon footprint and live an ocean-friendly lifestyle.


The use of the Turtle Bay Resort shuttles by Volcom staff, media and contestants helped reduce traffic congestion and pollution. Turtle Bay and the VPP also increased their presence in providing shuttles by doubling the amount of shuttle runs in 2015. The VPP also promoted  alternative methods of transportation like skateboarding, biking and walking through their contest ‘New Future’ website and on the webcast.

Suggested improvements for Transportation 

The 2015 VPP achieved good performance by working in partnership with Turtle Bay and offering shuttle service to guests.  A suggested improvement would be to highlight the alternative modes of transportation even further by moving this info into a more prominent place on the website.