Receiving official endorsement from SIMA (the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association) in 2013, the ECOBOARD Project uses science-based and transparent criteria to evaluate materials that are made with green chemistry, recycled and/or up-cycled content, or renewable materials. With approximately 50 Approved ECOBOARD Builders, from the world’s largest surfboard brands to artisanal shapers, it’s easy for any board builder to get started making ECOBOARDS.
Further information can be found in the ECOBOARD Project Program Guidelines.
Becoming Approved to build ECOBOARDS takes five simple steps*:
- To get started building Level One ECOBOARDS sign up here via our straightforward registration process (making Gold Level ECOBOARDS requires some further commitments – see below). We’ll get in touch once we hear from you to complete your unique listing on our site. The more info you give us – the better your listing.
- Make sure the materials you are using are included on our Qualified Materials list. Some examples of ECOBOARD Level One constructions include:
- Qualified resin + any non-qualified core
- Qualified core + any non-qualified resin
- Qualified core + Qualified resin
- We designate a number of ECOBOARD logos for you to use. There’s a minimum $1 (USD) fee per board designated as an ECOBOARD.
- You start applying the ECOBOARD logo on any qualifying boards moving forward.
- You send us interesting pics and updates so that we can promote your brand online and beyond.
*Note that for large brands, and those using OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) production, to become Approved to sell boards carrying the ECOBOARD Level One and Gold Level logo, additional verification is required (see tab below). The program also requires an Annual Program Fee for large brands and/or those using OEM production.
For those looking to go above and beyond and drive the progression of more sustainable boards there’s ECOBOARD Gold Level designation. Informed by Sustainable Surf’s ECOBOARD lifecycle study, ECOBOARD Gold Level rewards the top sustainable surfboards and surfboard producers – those with the greatest environmental impact reduction.
In addition to being Approved as an ECOBOARD builder, to receive validation to build Gold Level ECOBOARDS an organization must*:
- Undergo a “sustainability audit” with Sustainable Surf – identifying key sustainability opportunities. Assessments for smaller organizations will generally involve a telephone interview. Periodic updates should also be completed following the initial audit;
- Identify opportunities to:
- Reduce waste in the board building process – generally by developing a strategy with Sustainable Surf’s support.
- Improve energy efficiency and find ways to save energy and/or attempt to use renewable energy and/or carbon offsets.
- Demonstrate efforts to improve worker health and safety, and minimize exposure to hazardous and carcinogenic chemicals.
- Use Qualified Materials
- One Gold Level designated material and one other Qualified Material of any level (resin and core)
*Note that for large brands, and those using OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) production, to become Approved to sell boards carrying the ECOBOARD Level One and Gold Level logo, additional verification is required (see tab below). The program also requires an Annual Program fee for large brands and/or those using OEM production in addition to the minimum $1 (USD) fee per board designated as an ECOBOARD
Verification Audit Process
For large brands and those using OEM production to become Approved to sell boards carrying the ECOBOARD Project label, the following must be completed:
- A comprehensive audit of the board manufacturing site that is specific to the boards of the brand in question. This will include the review of:
- The use and management of Qualified Materials and lams/logos
- Systems to manage waste and recycling
- Energy use and renewable energy inputs
- Systems to manage worker health and safety
- Systems and processes that the brand has in place to ensure Qualified Materials are used on boards carrying the ECOBOARD Project label
- The brand’s approach to developing artwork for boards and specifying the use of the ECOBOARD Project label
- How the brand markets and communicates the environmental qualities of boards carrying the ECOBOARD Project label
- A comprehensive review of the broader sustainability programs that the brand is implementing. This may include:
- Sustainability initiatives for products beyond surfboards (i.e. paddles, fins, board-bags, clothing);
- Activities to manage and mitigate carbon emissions (i.e. procuring renewable energy, involvement in a carbon offset program);
- Support of environmental not for profits;
- Engagement with customers and the community regarding sustainability;
- Take-back and recycling programs for boards at end of life.
The results of the audit are confidential. Each brand will be provided a comprehensive audit report, which includes key results, observations and recommendations. Sustainable Surf will work with each brand to communicate key sustainability-related out-takes via the ECOBOARD Project website and other forums.
This information also allows Sustainable Surf and each brand to manage communications about boards carrying the ECOBOARD Project label.
Use of the ECOBOARD Project logo
The program requires all large brands to pay an Annual Program Fee ($2,500) and a minimum $1 (USD) fee per board designated as an ECOBOARD.
Sustainable Surf will work with each brand to develop a clear strategy for the use of the ECOBOARD Project label on boards. Generally, this will include a gradual ‘roll-out’ specific to the boards and construction methods in question.
Communications regarding the brand’s involvement in the ECOBOARD Project should also be discussed with Sustainable Surf.
Annual Program Fee
In addition to a fee per board designated as an ECOBOARD, large brands are required to pay an Annual Program Fee of $2,500. This contribution helps to fund:
- An annual audit as per the ECOBOARD Project program requirements
- Direct support and consultation from Sustainable Surf relating to surfboard sustainability
- Maintenance of a detailed listing on the ECOBOARD Project site
To order logos, simply send us an email. We will generate an invoice for you – making it easy to pay the fee per logo (starting at $1 (USD) per logo).
Each one of our high-quality logos is hand numbered. Level One logos come on sheets of 30 and Gold Level logos on sheets of 20.
We can also work with builders that prefer to print or engrave their logos – contact us to discuss that process.
With more than 50,000 ECOBOARDs built and sold to date – it’s easy to see that the board riding community is looking for more sustainable craft. With a strong media presence, Sustainable Surf is helping to drive the sustainable board agenda.
People want to know that the boards they are purchasing are made with more sustainable materials, by manufacturers that care about their impact on the environment and the people making those boards.
As the first, independent 3rd party consumer-facing “eco-label” for boards, the ECOBOARD Project label is the one of the best ways for a board builder to communicate their commitment to sustainability to their customers.
More than just a labelling program, all active ECOBOARD builders will be featured in at least two articles/posts by Sustainable Surf each year – we want to tell your story – it’s important that you tell your sustainability story to us.
If you feel that you’re ahead of the game, why not consider being Validated to build Gold Level ECOBOARDS?
For more information on why you should become an Approved ECOBOARD Builder contact us.
More than just a label – the ECOBOARD Project generates, collects and shares surfboard sustainability information with the surf community. Check back here for simple tips on how to reduce waste and improve energy use (saving money).
We also encourage all board builders to take a look at the results of the ECOBOARD life cycle study.
Want to know more? Contact us here.