ECOBOARD LCA + Gold Level
In 2016, we finished a major milestone for the ECOBOARD Project: the completion of the world’s first comprehensive Lifecycle Study of a surfboard. This study measures the environmental impact from all of the materials, energy, transportation and waste with regard to building a surfboard. This “LCA” provides the science behind The ECOBOARD Project, and proves that ECOBOARDS create meaningful environmental benefits with a 30% reduction in lifecycle CO2 emissions. See the full Lifecycle Study report for more details.
The results from the Lifecycle Study directly led to evolution of the ECOBOARD Project itself. In 2016, we launched the Gold Level designation for the highest performance in sustainable board construction. The Study found that waste and energy use during manufacturing were much more significant than we had thought, so Gold Level provides a pathway for manufacturers to follow.
The surfing performance of ECOBOARDS is constantly being proven by the best surfers and paddlers in the world. The following is a sample of some of the athletes that won contests riding verified ECOBOARDS in 2016:
- Michel Bourez won the 2016 Billabong Pipe Masters on a Firewire surfboard
- Joanne DeFay won the 2016 Vans US Open of Surfing on a Channel Islands surfboard
- Jordy Smith won the 2016 Hurley Pro at Trestles on a Channel Islands surfboard
- Zane Schweitzer won the 2016 ISA Fiji Pro on a Starboard SUP
- Zane Schweitzer won the 2016 Ultimate Waterman on several Starboard surfcraft
- Connor Baxter won the 2016 Pacific Paddle Games on a Starboard SUP ECOBOARD
ECOBOARDS in the Media
Major media outlets continued to cover the progress of the ECOBOARD Project. The story of sustainability and surfboards is actively spreading Sustainable Surf's Deep Blue Life message, and pro surfers are excellent advocates for the message of ocean protection. Two of the best examples from 2017 are:
Material manufacturers continue to innovate new sustainable materials using our Materials Benchmark as guidance. In 2016, four new 'Qualified Materials' were approved for making ECOBOARDS. Overall, the steady growth in the number of material manufacturers is proof that the market for sustainable boards is becoming even more robust.
Building on many years of sustainable materials development, Entropy Resins became the first resin company to receive the ECOBOARD Gold Level stamp for three different resins.
Waste to Waves reimagines waste as a resource. The award winning program inspires people and companies to view waste as a resource, instead of a problem. It seeks to stop plastic pollution at the source, by highlighting innovative projects that recycle and upcycle waste into gear that people can buy - and in doing so, become part of the solution.
Waste to Waves created and participated in several museum exhibits in 2016. This program has always been about creating a story and vision where waste materials can be re-used in a way that protects the ocean from plastic pollution. We created educational exhibits at the California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco, CA), the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (San Clemente CA), and The Eden Project (Cornwall, UK). These exhibits showcased the breadth of of examples where our waste can become a resource.
While Waste to Waves started in collecting and upcycling styrofoam into new surfboards, this was only the beginning. In 2016, we launched several new materials for recycling and storytelling. We partnered with companies that had developed innovative new ways to recycle some kind of waste into something that people want to buy. The following partnerships and materials are now part of Waste to Waves:
- Upcycling used wetsuits into yoga mats with SUGA Mats
- Upcycling torn kite, windsurf and boat sails into backpacks, totes and duffles with MAFIA Bags
- Recycling used wine corks into yoga blocks and traction pads with ReCork
First Deep Blue SUP Event - FIJI ISA WORLDS
2016 was the first year in which a major SUP contest became a Deep Blue Event. The Fiji ISA Worlds was the world championships of SUP competition, with the best SUP athletes in the world competing in multiple disciplines. Surfing (at Cloudbreak), distance race, technical racing, and more… The full sustainability report can be viewed here.
VOLCOM PIPE PRO continues to shine
The 2016 Volcom Pipe Pro continues to push the envelope for sustainable surf contests world-wide. It used 80% biodiesel sourced from Pacific Biodiesel, and solar photovoltaic electricity from roof-top panels on the Volcom houses at Pipeline.
Each Deep Blue Event has a transparent sustainability report that gives quantitative performance data and suggestions for further improves. Please see the 2016 Volcom Pipe Pro sustainability report.