THE World Surf League (WSL) has announced a series of sustainability commitments, including becoming carbon neutral globally and eliminating single-serve plastics by the end of this year.
These commitments – which WSL says are designed to inspire, educate and empower ocean lovers while addressing critical environmental issues – apply to all WSL Championship Tour and Big Wave Tour events.
This effort builds on the WSL’s existing ocean conservation efforts, including its non-profit arm WSL PURE (Protecting Understanding and Respecting the Environment).
As part of its announcement, the WSL is also launching a global marketing campaign and inviting members of the community to make the PURE pledge to “Stop Trashing Waves” and join a worldwide paddle out on June 15 in honour of International Surfing Day.
“The WSL is incredibly proud to break new ground in sports in the urgent battle against climate change and ocean pollution,” WSL chief executive officer Sophie Goldschmidt said.
“We believe it’s our responsibility to be ‘all in’ with our efforts to protect the ocean and beaches amid the devastating climate crisis we all face. We invite everyone who cares about the ocean to join us.”
The WSL will offset its carbon footprint by investing in and supporting projects such as REDD+ (reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) and VCS (Verified Carbon Standard) certified carbon offset projects.
The single-serve plastic ban is specifically targeting items related to food service such as bottled beverages, cutlery, and cups.
The WSL is also committing to leave each WSL Championship Tour and Big Wave Tour stop better than it was found, by reducing its event footprint and developing a financial grant program to commit money to local projects and non-profits that are working to safeguard our coasts and protect these habitats.
“I think it’s a great stance and an important message to send to people around the world,” 11- time WSL champion Kelly Slater said.
“The ocean is vital to everyone, for food, for oxygen and especially to us surfers.”