PORTUGUESE SURF CENTER ACHIEVES HIGHEST SUSTAINABLE SURF TOURISM CERTIFICATION
Surf Clube de Viana First to be STOKE Certified Best Practice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 16, 2021
Contact: Carl Kish (firstname.lastname@example.org)
VIANA DO CASTELO, PORTUGAL – Portugal’s first surf school and the birthplace of the Portuguese Surf Federation, Surf Clube de Viana (SCV), is the first to achieve sustainable surf tourism certification at the highest level: STOKE Certified Best Practice.
STOKE—Sustainable Tourism and Outdoors Kit for Evaluation—is a sustainability certification built for the adventure travel and outdoor recreation industries. After an on-site assessment by independent evaluator and Executive Director of the Portuguese Association of Surf Schools, Afonso Teixeira, Surf Clube de Viana crossed the STOKE Best Practice threshold as the 20th organization to be STOKE Certified.
João Zamith, President of the 32-year-old nonprofit, has gone through the certification process twice now, stating that “Building from the certification of our Eurosurf Adaptive event in 2019, we were able to adapt and leverage STOKE’s new sustainability SaaS platform to strengthen our community and environmental initiatives despite the pandemic. As Portugal’s first surf school, we could not be more proud to represent our country as the first surf tourism operator to be STOKE Certified at the Best Practice level. Thank you to all of our staff, volunteers, and athletes for supporting us during these tough times.”
Having created the first Portuguese Surfrider chapter in 2005 and being designated the caretaker of the geopark surrounding their home break of Cabedelo in 2020, SCV’s reputation as stewards in their community precedes them. The SCV team, composed of over 120 athletes, 600+ members, and 20 trainers, regularly organizes coastal clean-ups, environmental and DEI education seminars, learn-to-surf scholarships for 2,000 local students each year, adaptive surfing instruction programs for people with mental and physical disabilities, as well as authentic cultural performances and handicrafts for events.
The surf club’s headquarters, the High Performance Center (HPC), features a cork exterior as an ode to Portugal’s heritage for being the largest producer of this renewable resource. Thanks to efficiencies gained from the building’s design and automation software, rooftop solar and a geothermal heat pump system provide 83% of their annual energy demand. Athlete transportation and minor grid energy usage contributed to their 2020 carbon footprint of 19 tonnes. This is being mitigated through a partnership with Plantar uma Árvore — a Portuguese NGO that will plant 32 native trees this October in a wildfire-stricken area that is only 1.5 hours away from Viana in the Serra do Alvão region.
“Since we started seven years ago, no one has reached the Best Practice level across any of our standards, so it is no small feat what Surf Clube de Viana has achieved,” said STOKE CEO and Co-Founder, Carl Kish. “When we launched the STOKE Platform beta in January 2020, we implemented a new weighted scoring system with STOKE Surf v3.0 which measures impact according to Project Drawdown climate solutions as well as United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We did not think the first operator to join right after launch would be able to surpass the highest mark—let alone during a pandemic. The SCV team blew us away.”
SCV aims to develop recreational, cultural, and sporting activities in its local community of Viana do Castelo. Housed within the energy-efficient Surfing Viana High Performance Centre (HPC), SCV is an elite training facility for athletes with a commitment to high-performance surfing alongside the promotion of health, well-being, inclusiveness, and respect for the environment. Surfers from all over Portugal and the EU come to SCV to train, compete, and enjoy the waves and local culture of Viana.
For a detailed list of SCV’s best practices with photographs, please visit their STOKE Certified profile at https://www.stokecertified.com/members/surf-clube-de-viana/ or visit http://www.surfingviana.com/ to learn more about their programs and events.
STOKE (Sustainable Tourism & Outdoors Kit for Evaluation), a California Social Purpose Corporation, is the world’s first sustainability certification body with standards built specifically for the adventure travel and outdoor recreation industries. Through its software and network of independent evaluators, STOKE enables businesses to reach their sustainability goals before verifying and sharing their impact stories. Since 2013, STOKE’s network has grown to 11 countries so the outdoor community can find #sustainablestoke wherever the pursuit of adventure takes them. For more information on STOKE’s members, sustainability SaaS solution, and certification process, go to http://www.stokecertified.com/ and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.