Volcom heightens it’s sustainability plans with EP&L statements.

Often a leader in the marketplace of action sports and lifestyle brands, the next step of the Volcom journey includes progressive plans to incorporate an Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) policy with their parent company Kering.

On April 8, 2013, Volcom announced yet another new feature to their brand amid the transition to a new CEO and re-tooled Company Mission which includes sustainability, and furthering their commitment to sustainability by working with their parent company’s Kering Sustainability Team.

First, it’s important to note that Volcom did launch an eco-friendly aspect in 2006 starting with their V.Co-logicial series collection of which 1% of the sales went to environmentally focused non-profits, thanks to the company’s 1% for the Planet membership.

According to Jason Steris, Volcom’s newly appointed CEO, “We have a real opportunity to influence change. Our investments in a yearly EP&L will help us make better decisions regarding our impact on the environment and will help us better manage long term risks as we grow the company.”

Introduced first by Puma in 2010, Volcom’s EP&L in a similar fashion means placing a monetary value on a company’s environmental impact along the entire supply chain of a select set of products. To aid them in the process, Volcom has retained the services of Steve Richardson at Material STEPS, the former Director of Material Development at Patagonia.

Supply chain scrutiny is one part of the company’s approach and included in Volcom’s 3-year sustainability plan are additional goals to be reached by 2016 including:

  • Reducing the company’s carbon emissions, waste and water usage by 25%
  • Ensuring there is no PVC in any of their collections
  • Sourcing paper and packaging items sustainably from recycled sources and/or certified well-managed forests
  • Increasing the amount of sustainable materials and processes in all product mixes
  • Certifying major surf events as Deep Blue Surfing Events™
  • Continuing Give Backs to community-based programs

Volcom’s sustainability strategy is managed by Derek Sabori, the company’s Senior Director of Sustainability, who notes that, “There’s still so much work to be done, but we’ve spent a lot of time instilling our sustainability principles into the DNA of the company. The building blocks and the blueprint are there. Now it’s time to execute.”

Interestingly, Volcom’s mission statement of “youth against establishment” has become a bit less punk rock. Now, it states: “Volcom is a modern global lifestyle brand that embodies the creative spirit of youth culture.”

What will be interesting to see over time is how Volcom’s new strategy also affects other action sports and lifestyle brands as the pressure builds for more brands to embrace such changes.

Label Networks’ 1st Sustainability and Youth Culture Study was received extremely well. The second version is also underway. Label Networks has been asked to present at the Sustainable Brands 2013 Conference in San Diego, CA June 3.

According to Label Networks’ Sustainability and The Future of Youth Culture Study (our 2nd version is currently underway), today’s youth culture cares about such issues. Volcom’s EP&L plans are in-step with the marketplace.

In addition, Volcom brought on SustainableSurf.org to assist with making its Pipe Pro event sustainable, having achieved the Deep Blue Surfing Events certification (their Volcom Fiji Pro has also achieved this certification). They also teamed up with TR3EES, and the local Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii to implement and manage the event’s impact and aspects of giving back. Their efforts were documented in a short feature called Volcom Pipe Pro 2013: Sustainable by Design by filmmaker Nathan Peracciny.

To see more about Volcom’s sustainability plans, check out: Volcom.com/newfuture.

For more information about Label Networks’ Sustainability and Youth Culture Studies and consulting, please contact us at info@labelnetworks.com. We are honored to have been asked to present on this topic at the Sustainable Brands 2013 Conference, June 3, 2013 in San Diego, CA.

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