Sustainable Brands: World Surf League Leads Sports Industry on Carbon

We Are One Ocean

Image: Wind farm near Nazaré, Portugal | Credit: Joel Reis

Three years after the World Surf League (WSL) announced its #StopTrashingWaves campaign to fight plastic pollution, protect coastlines, and reduce and offset its carbon footprint, Sustainable Brands featured the WSL as a global leader in the “green sports movement.” STOKE has had the distinct privilege of working with the WSL, its nonprofit arm (PURE), and incredible local organizations in tour stops around the world towards best practices in event sustainability management, emissions reductions, and carbon offsetting for all WSL operations, WCT events, and BWT events since 2018. We are deeply grateful to be part of an international surfing community devoted to saving our home planet.

“WSL has chosen to focus on the specific threats to its “playing field.” This risk-turned-opportunity approach to building a sustainability strategy is the best way for other leagues and teams to ‘find their wave,’ addressing the specific reasons to inspire action.” – Kristen Fulmer, Sustainable Brands.

Offset portfolio for the 2021 Reporting Period (November 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022):

  • In Australia: The Mount Sandy Conservation, forest project ensures permanent protection for a regionally and culturally important pocket of biodiversity-rich land in partnership with its Traditional Owners. Local birds, animals and plants flourish undisturbed, while native plants for revegetation will be supplied by the local nursery at Raukkan Aboriginal Community, a self-governed Indigenous community 50 kilometers northwest of the project site.
  • In South America the AgroCortex project is a REDD+ forest conservation project in the Amazon rainforest. Over the next 30 years, this project will help reduce over 14 million tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Additionally, this project will help protect the Amazon’s rich biodiversity and lies inside a worldwide birdlife endemic area. Fauna surveys conducted indicated the presence of 345 species of birds.
  • In Asia Pacific: The Katingan Mentaya project in Borneo is a REDD+ peat swamp forest that fights deforestation from mining and palm oil plantations. VCS and Triple Gold Certified project recognized for its positive social impacts (34 communities; 45k people) and biodiversity (5 Critically Endangered, 8 Endangered, and 31 Vulnerable species).
  • In South America: the Vida Manglar is the world’s first blue carbon project to enter the market with its carbon stores fully valued – that is, with the carbon stored in both the trees and the soils, fully accounted for. The project is based in Colombia and will reduce approximately one million tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 30 years by conserving and sustainably managing coastal mangrove ecosystems, marshes, and associated streams. Conservation International and regional partners – INVEMAR Research Institute and CVS (Coporación autónoma regional del Valle del Sinú) are using the carbon value generated through the conservation and restoration of mangroves to contribute to a long-term sustainable financing strategy for the region.

With the ocean absorbing more than 90% of excess heat in the atmosphere, the WSL recognizes and appreciates the responsibility they have in protecting its “playing field” in the face of climate change. With support from 90+ organizations in more than 150 countries, the WSL launched the We Are One Ocean campaign last year and delivered a petition to conserve 30 percent of the ocean by 2030 to the United Nations at COP15. Follow their journey here.