Surf South West's Environment Policy
For us, one of the best features of surfing is the low impact nature of the sport. The power that creates a wave is 100% ‘green’, the surf being generated by the wind. Although the essence of surfing is all natural, other aspects of the sport have the capacity to leave more of a negative environmental footprint.
With this in mind Surf South West is committed to reducing our carbon footprint, acting in a sustainable way and encouraging others to act similarly. Surf South West is a member of the Green Tourism Business Scheme - an organisation that is the national sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK. Businesses opting to join Green Tourism are assessed by a qualified grading advisor against a rigorous set of criteria, covering a range of areas, like energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity and more.
We have implemented the following changes in the past two years and aim to improve these standards on a regular basis:
Our office, surf school and beach are all located within a short distance and the business is very much a ‘cottage industry’.
All promotional print material is printed on recycled paper using soya-based inks.
100% recycled paper used in our office and all waste paper is recycled.
Communication by electronic means wherever possible.
Equipment recycled wherever possible and we support and monitor the current efforts being made by companies such as Sustainable Composites www.suscomp.com to make surfboard construction more environmentally responsible.
All waste is sorted to recycle as much as possible.
Capture and use of rainwater wherever possible.
Usage of electricity in office monitored regularly with reduction targets in place.
Use of energy companies with ‘green energy’ options.
We aim to set a maximum target of annual mileage of surf school vehicles.
Fair trade products used for refreshments wherever possible.
Local suppliers used for catering.
We ensure suppliers of garments for our surfwear have ethical policies in place.
We have a Responsible Visitor Charter in place to encourage visitors to North Devon and our surf schools to consider their environmental impact. View it here: Responsible Visitor Charter.
We support and work alongside organisations educating environmental awareness such as Devon Wildlife Trust, Marine Conservation Society, Coastwise and Seaquest South-West. Surf South West are corporate supporters of Surfers against Sewage and the Devon Wildlife Trust and are involved in an innovative project recording activity of dolphins, porpoises and whales in north Devon. Click here for more info!
We are fortunate that our beaches are located in a designated ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and adjacent to the World Class UNESCO Biosphere of Braunton Burrows. We support and promote the preservation of these areas.
Our efforts to promote sustainability also extend to our surfing holidays:
Our aim is to supply holidays on a small scale with minimal environmental impact and benefiting local communities wherever possible.
We use local suppliers for accommodation and transport.
Carbon emissions from all flights taken by our instructors are offset by investing in UN Certified emission reduction projects.
Customers are given the same opportunity to offset carbon emissions from their flights.
Alternative transport options e.g. car ferries, recommended where possible.
On all destinations we offer the opportunity to learn more about the destination with excursions focusing on local wildlife, environment and heritage.
Costa Rica has recently been named as one of the best ethical destinations in the world for 2008 by Ethical Traveller. Following a worldwide study of environmental protection, social welfare and human rights, Costa Rica was listed in the top ten and highlighted as having: 'a very high level of overall environmental health, excellent water resources, biodiversity, air quality and sustainable energy.'View article here:
Surf South West financially support the international charity SurfAid International - a non-profit humanitarian organisation working to improve the health, well-being and self reliance of people living in isolated communities connected to surfing regions. Click here for more info.
Organisations we support:
Green Tourism Business Scheme
North Devon Area of Outstanding Beauty
Devon Wildlife Trust
Marine Conservation Society
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Coastwise North Devon
North Devon Animal Ambulance
Surfers Against Sewage