Volcom TCT 2016

The 2016 Volcom Totally Crustaceous Tour Global Championships in Newport Beach and Lower Trestles has been designated as a Deep Blue Surfing Event™.

A Deep Blue Surfing 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).

Deep Blue Surfing 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.

The 2016 Volcom TCT championship was held in pumping surf at Lowers. Solid head high+ to 2x over-head for the entire event. It was quadruple overhead for the youngest age group. Check out the highlights of three 10 point rides below.

* The 2016 Volcom TCT Global Chmapionships event has exceeded the minimum requirements in three of the five categories measured (Waste Diversion, Community Outreach, and Climate Change).

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.

Sustainability Performance Summary:

  1. Waste Diversion:  38% of waste diverted from landfill
  2. Renewable Energy: Used B20 biodiesel fuel to power the contest generators
  3. Climate Change: 50% of CO2 footprint mitigated (417 out of 834 tons CO2e)
  4. Community Support: Supported local community organizations with $10,000 in donations
  5. Transportation: Did not provide or promote alternative transportation for athletes, staff, and spectators

The Volcom Totally Crustaceous Tour is a youth surf tour for ages 20 and under. Now in its 16th year, The TCT comprises multiple domestic and international events, culminating in the TCT Global Championships. This report evaluates the environmental practices at the Global Championships final event, held at Lower Trestles June 14-17, 2016.

* The 2016 Volcom TCT Championships has exceeded the minimum goal for Waste Diversion with a total diversion ratio of 38%

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.

Volcom used a front-of-house waste diversion strategy to achieve its recycling goals. Event waste collection was done with single stream containers, and Volcom staff then periodically picked out the recyclable materials from the trash stream.

This front-of-house strategy worked well, because it captured a high percentage of the recyclable materials. It also ensured that each type of recyclable material would be sent to the proper recycling facility.

The total recyclable material collected weighed 98 lbs. The total material collected in the bins weighed 260 lbs, so the waste diversion rate was 38%.

Volcom also engaged in significant education on waste at it relates to plastic bottles. They have a partnership with Repreve, which makes fabric out of recycled plastic bottles. Repreve collection bins were located throughout the beach, and Repreve had an education station on the beach. Volcom makes clothing using Repreve fabric in its Sustainability Collection.

Volcom also provides education on reusable water bottles, and provides refilling stations for water. Reusable water bottles are available for purchase in the merchandise tent. This kind of education is important, and actually reduces the overall waste diversion ratio because people use fewer disposable water bottles.

Volcom has made the trophies for the event with recycled and reclaimed materials. Mike Hill, founder of AoSA Image in Huntington Beach, CA, makes displays, banners, trade show booths, and more, out of reclaimed materials from local waste streams and recycled items. Mike works with Volcom in many areas and he designed 2017 TCT Global Champs trophies.

Suggestions for improvement: Food waste, which often accounts for a significant fraction of waste at events, was not diverted due to lack of composting. It is suggested that Volcom pursue composting options at the next TCT event.



* The 2016 Volcom TCT used B20 biodiesel in the generators for the event.

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 Volcom TCT used 216 gallons of biodiesel B20 fuel in the generators that powered the event. These generators run on “Tier 4” engines, which are considered high efficiency with regard to fuel consumption and meet requirements by the state of California.

Even though B20 is only 20% renewable energy, we are giving the Volcom TCT a pass for the minimum goal on renewable energy. It is very difficult to source B100 in Southern California, and this represent progress since the last event.

Suggestions for Improvement: B20 biodiesel is a good start. Improvements for 2017 would be to source a higher percentage blend of biodiesel. It is difficult, but not impossible to source a higher blend of biodiesel. We recommend that Volcom start working earlier with their generator vendor to use a higher percentage blend of biodiesel.


The 2016 Volcom TCT has exceeded the minimum goal for Community Support by providing support and visibility for several community group partners including the San Onofre Parks Foundation and the Surfrider Foundation.

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 Volcom TCT supported the San Onofre Parks Foundation with a charitable contribution of $10,000. Funds were generated by the sale of Volcom’s “True to Trestles” merchandise line (which includes t-shirts, hats and reusable bottles) and through a general donation from Volcom.

The San Onofre Foundation (SOF) is a non-profit “whose mission is to provide education, protection, and preservation for the California State Parks at San Onofre and San Clemente State Beaches.” The $10,000 contribution will be used to purchase sleeping bags for inner city students who come to camp at San Onofre, and the rest of the funds will be used to youth programs through the year.

Organizations such as SOF and the Surfrider Foundation were invited to have booths at the event to showcase their nonprofit work. Volcom also played video spots and commercials during the webcast, which showcased the work of these community groups.

Volcom produced this video for the Surfrider Foundation and the contest webcast.

Suggested improvements: There are no suggested improvements. The community support from the 2016 Volcom TCT was solid. Keep up the good work for next year!


The 2016 Volcom TCT has exceeded the minimum goal 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. Minimum Goal: 50% of CO2 footprint of event offset or mitigated.

The total overall estimated footprint for the event is 834 tons CO2e. By far the most significant contributor to the CO2e count was air travel by competitors and their companions, as well as car travel to the events by competitors, attendees and staff.

The 2016 TCT has offset 50% of these carbon emissions for the event with verified carbon credits from the (which project?).

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.

Suggested improvements: There are no suggested improvements to reduce the event’s carbon footprint. Volcom’s commitment to 100% offset purchases is the best solution to the carbon footprint of the event.

The 2016 Volcom TCT did not meet the minimum goal 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. 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 authors on this report are Kevin Whilden, Michael Stewart, and Tina Nguyen.

Special thanks to Nathan Peracciny for the amazing work done to document all the sustainability efforts at the 2016 Volcom TCT through video and photos (used extensively throughout this report).

Extra Special thanks goes to Derek Sabori, former VP of Sustainability at Volcom and founder of The Underswell, for his leadership and general stoke for wanting to highlight sustainability at Volcom’s major surf contests, and for supporting and showcasing all of the partners that make a sustainable surf contest possible.