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Volcom Launches EP&L, Commits To Reducing Emissions, Waste and Water Usage

Action sports lifestyle brand Volcom announced Wednesday a new set of sustainability goals and the incorporation of Environmental Profit & Loss (EP&L) to measure its impacts throughout its supply chain.

2013 brought a lot of changes for Volcom, including a new CEO and a re-tooled company mission with an increased focus on sustainability. The commitment, while on the radar for the 22-year-old, Orange County-based action sports leader since 2006, has been strengthened in partnership with its parent company Kering and the Kering Sustainability Team.

Since 2006, Volcom has offered a range of products under the V.Co-logical Series collection, contributing 1% of the sales to environmentally focused non-profits, thanks to the company’s 1% for the Planet membership. These days, however, the company is employing a deeper, more targeted strategy and is uncovering what it means to truly offer products and run a business with a lighter environmental impact.

“We have a real opportunity to influence change,” said Jason Steris, Volcom’s newly appointed CEO. “Our investments in a yearly EP&L will help us make better decisions regarding our impact on the environment and will help us better manage long-term risks as we grow the company.”

An EP&L, as introduced first by PUMA in 2010 and committed to by Kering, places a monetary value on a company’s environmental impact along its entire supply chain. 2013 marked Volcom’s first forays its their initial EP&L for its apparel products. To aid the company in the process, Volcom has retained the services of Steve Richardson at Material STEPS, formerly Director of Material Development at Patagonia.

Supply chain scrutiny is one part of the company’s comprehensive approach; Volcom’s three-year sustainability plan includes additional goals to be reached by 2016:

  • Reducing the company’s carbon emissions, waste and water usage by 25%
  • Removing PVC from all product lines
  • Sourcing paper and packaging items from recycled sources and/or certified well-managed forests
  • Increasing the amount of sustainable materials and processes in all product mixes
  • Certifying major surf events as Deep Blue Surfing Events
  • Continuing Give Backs to community-based programs  

Volcom’s sustainability strategy is managed by Derek Sabori, Senior Director of Sustainability, who notes that, “There’s still so much work to be done, but we’ve spent a lot of time instilling our sustainability principles into the DNA of the company. The building blocks and the blueprint are there. Now it’s time to execute.”

In keeping with Volcom’s deeper commitment to sustainability, the company also announced today that its annual Pipe Pro event has achieved Deep Blue Surfing EventsTM certification, based on its attention to energy, waste, carbon, transportation and community. This is Volcom’s second Deep Blue Surfing Event, with the Volcom Fiji Pro being the first ever.

To ensure that the contest adhered to its principles, Volcom teamed up with SustainableSurf.org, TR3EES and others to manage the event’s impacts, and carbon credits with Carbonfund.org were purchased to offset the calculated emissions making the event CarbonFree®. Local non-profits Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii and North Shore Community Land Trust were highlighted and supported as well through the innovative Surf Credits program.

“Volcom is a clear leader in producing sustainable surfing contests that benefit local communities and reduce environmental impacts,” says Sustainable Surf's Kevin Whilden. “Their commitment to independent evaluation and reporting shows that they walk the talk. It also helps find new opportunities to improve the contest even further.”

Filmmaker/director Nathan Peraccinydocumented the journey and people behind the event in a 23-minute film,Volcom Pipe Pro 2013: Sustainable by Design. The short discusses everything from the locally sourced food and the biodiesel-run generators to the bokashi system for composting food scraps. 


Jennifer Elks is Managing Editor at Sustainable Brands. She is a writer, editor and foodie who is passionate about improving food systems, closing loops and creating more livable cities. She loves cooking, wine, cooking with wine, correcting spelling errors in… [Read more about Jennifer Elks]


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