Volcom Pipe Pro 2016 — 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 2016 VPP total waste diversion rate was 74%, an increase from the diversion rates of 65% in 2015. The total amount of waste collected was less than the amount of waste in 2015, at 1,365 lbs in 2016 vs. 2,080 lbs in 2015. This reduction in total waste generated is a good result, and comes from better choices by event organizers to reduce landfill materials, and a greater emphasis on public education on waste reduction. The relative amount of recycling and compost are very similar in 2015 (1,347 lbs) and in 2016 (1,004 lbs), however the amount of landfill trash was much higher in 2015 (733 lbs) than in 2016 (361 lbs).

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and the VPP implemented waste diversion in the contest secured areas, public areas in the beach park, and on the beach itself.  Additional diversion systems were set up in the VIP areas, and at the VIP BBQ.  Setup days were also covered for waste diversion.  There were also daily beach clean up actions on both the set up and break down days. Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii used the same style of recycling tents and had six staff supporting the effort per competition day sorting the waste, recyclables and compostables.

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 Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, 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. 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 2017 event, or will be sold directly through Volcom retail outlets.

The total waste diversion numbers:

  • Recycled materials = 464 lbs – 34%
  • Composted materials = 540 lbs – 40%
  • Landfill materials = 361 lbs – 26%
  • Total weight of diverted materials = 1,004 lbs – 74%
  • Total weight of all materials = 1,365 lbs – 100%
  • Waste diversion ratio = 74%

Suggested improvements for Waste

The 2016 achieved excellent performance for overall waste diversion. The VPP increased their waste diversion ratio by further reducing the amount of landfill material, while maintaining high recycling and compost rates. 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 2017, waste diversion performance could be improved by encouraging outside food vendors to use compostable serve-ware and continuing to educate the public on reducing waste.

The biodiesel blend used in 2016 was B80, which is the same blend as used in the previous year.  The total fuel usage for the event was 377 gallons of B80 biodiesel (20% Petroleum) for all days.

For the first time, solar photovoltaic panels were installed on one of the Volcom houses. The other house will also get solar PV installed before the next event. These systems will offset the electricity used by the houses during the event. The total energy used by each house is 95 kWh per day during the contest, while the solar PV system generated 55 kWh per day.

In addition to supporting the local economy and community, the use of biodiesel and solar energy sets an example to help reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Shifting to more sustainable fuel sources 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 four years running, and installed Solar PV systems as recommended in prior reports.  This is outstanding performance, and we congratulate Volcom. The next step would be to aim for 100% biodiesel usage in 2017.


The total amount donated to local community groups was $68,380.

The Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii donations 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 honors the legacy of Sion Milosky.  Funds were raised by sales of specific Sion-related Volcom merchandise, hourly prizes give aways during the webcast, and donations throughout the VPP website during the contest.

The Sunset Elementary School donations were raised through the sales of Volcom Pipe Pro merchandise sold by their PTA at the contest site.

Volcom helped promote a surf movie night with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, on Waihuena Farm. This was held at their portable education classroom, which is a shipping container filled with educational materials and flip-up roof that creates a project screen.

Suggested improvements for Community Support

The 2016 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 2017.


The 2016 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 337 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 (98.3% of total).
  • Biodiesel and petroleum-diesel power generators for the contest generators (.6% of total).
  • Emissions related to hospitality for athletes and staff (hotel and food production)(0.2% of total).
  • Emissions from spectator transportation to the event (1.1% of total).

Air travel is 98% of the total carbon footprint for an event like the VPP, so Volcom created a questionnaire for athletes to improve our understanding of the carbon footprint of the event. Athletes were asked which airport they departed from on their trip to the VPP, how many companions they had, and what type of lodging they were using on the North Shore. This enabled much more accurate footprint calculations, and for the first time, we got an estimate of inter-island travel for athletes that live on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Athlete companions were also included in the total air travel footprint calculations, including family, coaches, and trainers.

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 2016 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, competitors, and companions emissions from 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 provided shuttle runs for guests at the Turtle Bay Resort. 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 2016 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.