Volcom Pipe Pro -2013- Sustainability Report

What is a Deep Blue Surfing Event?

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.


Evaluation of Sustainability Efforts at the 2013 Volcom Pipe Pro

To receive a Deep Blue Surfing Event designation, an event is required to develop a data collection plan for measuring performance on reducing environmental impacts –and– must be evaluated to show meeting minimum goals for at least two of the five major categories of environmental impacts.

* The 2013 Volcom Pipe Pro has been evaluated to have met or exceeded the minimum requirements of all five categories measured (Waste Diversion, Renewable Energy, Community Outreach, Climate Change and Transportation) and has been designated as a Deep Blue Surfing Event by Sustainable Surf.


Notable Highlights of the Event

The 2013 Volcom Pipe Pro (VPP) contest has demonstrated a very strong commitment to sustainability efforts. This was particularly aided by the choice to partner with local Oahu event greening organization TR3EES to implement waste diversion. TR3EES instituted a comprehensive effort to reduce waste going to the landfill through upstream waste diversion, onsite recycling and local composting.

Other notable highlights include the 2013 VPP as being the first Hawaiian ASP surfing event to be powered by biodiesel, and to become carbon neutral. Generous support for the local community was showcased by the support of at least four different North Shore focused organizations. Traffic congestion and vehicle emissions were also further reduced through the use of shuttle services, bio-diesel powered vehicles, and the welcomed use of bicycles and skateboards by event staff, competitors and locals alike.

Please see below for detailed information related to each of the five categories of impacts that were measured.


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 2013 VPP has exceeded the minimum goal for Waste Diversion with a total diversion ratio of 65%

* Note – The waste diversion ratio from the VPP contest HQ site alone was 84%. This was the primary area managed by TR3EES for waste diversion and had the highest diversion results. TR3EES also collected recycling and measured trash generation from the public event area including Ehukai Beach Park, which is an integral part of the contest site for spectators and event merchandise sales. Incorporating this data produces a final waste diversion ratio of 65%.

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

  • Food waste, utensils, napkins and cardboard were taken daily by TR3EES staff from the event site 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 TR3EES staff and recycled.
  • Waste diversion numbers: Recycled materials = 947 lbs / Composted materials = 325 lbs / Landfill materials = 690 lbs / Total weight of all materials = 1,962 lbs
  • Single use plastic water bottles were banned onsite at the event HQ. Other beverages in non-recyclable, single-use drink containers were not sourced this year, 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.
  • 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 2014 event.
  • Sustainable Surf teamed with Surfrider Hawaii to launch the first Waste to Waves (W2W) program effort in Hawaii, in collaboration with the Volcom Pipe Pro contest. A collection bin for recycling “styrofoam” material was installed at Volcom’s North Shore HQ surf shop (Tropical Rush) in Haleiwa, and continues to be there as a legacy of the event.

BYO-refillable water bottle

Waste diversion station

Kimo reminds you to recycle

W2W Recycles EPS foam

Organic fuel for surf warriors

Step #1 of composting

Food scraps = food for plants

Farm across street from Pipe


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 2013 VVP has exceeded the minimum goal for sourcing Renewable Energy by sourcing recycled Biodeisel for 100% of off-grid power used at the event

  • The Volcom Pipe Pro partnered with Hawaii-based Pacific Biodiesel, who donated biodiesel made locally on Oahu from recycled vegetable oil collected from restaurants. This fuel powered both large contest generators that were providing 100% of the off-grid power for the entire event. Total biodiesel fuel use for the event was ~156 gallons of biodiesel fuel, at an 80/20 blend.
  • This is the first ASP surf event in HI to be powered with biodiesel. Now that this barrier has been removed, the use of biodiesel is expected to continue at future surfing events in Hawaii. This will create a significant CO2 footprint reduction at future events.
  • The accepted practice of using biodiesel can provide Pacific Biodiesel heightened visibility on the North Shore. This could provide the opportunity for increased use of locally produced biodiesel, which will create jobs, reduce Hawaii’s energy dependence on fossil fuels, and reduce environmental impacts.

Farming the local fuel

Plant-based fuel stocks

Collecting waste grease

Power generators at event


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 2013 Volcom Pipe Pro has exceeded the minimum goal for Community Support by providing support and visibility for 5 community group partners

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

  • North Shore 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Live Like Sion Memorial Fund: Volcom is honoring the legacy of Sion Milosky again this year, through the online sales of Volcom Pipe Pro contest merchandise; a portion of which will go to directly to the Fund.


We Love The Country

Boys & Girls Club of HI

*Note to self – Live Like Sion

Traveling? Get Surf Credits


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 2013 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 estimated by Sustainable Surf at 280 metric tons CO2e, which is about the weight of 102,853 (six pound) surfboards. 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 an 80/20 blend)
  • Emissions related to food production/consumption and lodging

Volcom has made the 2013 Volcom Pipe Pro event “Carbon Neutral”, by offsetting 100% of the estimated CO2 footprint through a partnership with nonprofit organization – Carbonfund.org. This compensates for the entire carbon (CO2) footprint created by putting on the surfing event. Volcom is once again supporting The Purus Project, which has recently achieved dual-validation to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS) with Gold Distinction. The Purus Project is also designated for use by the Code REDD organization, of which PPR (Volcom’s parent organization) is a corporate champion. Certified offsets purchased by Volcom from The Purus Project , the first ever REDD+ project in the State of Acre, Brazil, helps prevent rainforest destruction in the Amazon through engaging local communities in conservation, and creating jobs to protect biodiversity. The Purus River provides habitat for a diverse array of animals including the rare Amazonian river dolphin and scarlet macaws. Click here to review the complete Project Design Document.

VPP is a “CarbonFree” Event

Map of the Purus Project

Life thrives on Purus Project

Local Purus community org


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 2013 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 to and from the contest site with the teamwork of 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 ~1120 individual passenger miles driven (based on an eight person occupancy of shuttle van, ten mile round trip, twice per day, during the seven days of the event). That’s roughly the distance of one vehicle driving round trip from San Francisco to San Diego and back again.

TR3EES founder Jennifer Homcy also used her biodiesel vehicle for transportation needs related to the event (also happily used by Sustainable Surf staff ). 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.

Jen’s bio-diesel surf mobile

Cruising Pipe on a Bike*

Avoid DAKam Hwy Jam*

Relax and take TBR shuttle!

*Photo credit for the two middle images goes to: FL Morris of HI Star Bulletin


Report Acknowledgements:

The authors on this report are Michael Stewart, Kevin Whilden and Dave Wardlow of Sustainable Surf, with assistance from Jen Homcy at TR3EES 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 flow, and to Jen Homcy at TR3EES for being such a great host and a 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.