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Sustainability 2.0: Programs That Make Cents

Programs that Make Cents—Long-Term Thinking Today

Editor’s note: In the summer issue of TransWorld Business, we take an in-depth look at the brands and retailers that are moving the needle on the sustainability front by going beyond products and focusing their efforts on updating their processes. As part of that feature, we shared some examples of companies that are putting environmental ethos at the forefront. We caught a correction in the print issue. We miss-printed that Surf Credits is partnering with Volvo, instead of Volcom and wanted to run the updated version here. To check out the full article, pick up a copy of the issue or download it onto your iPad on iTunes today.

By Christina Shepherd McGuire

Patagonia Works: $20 Million & Change:

Patagonia Works, the holding company for Patagonia Inc., launched a fund to nurture entrepreneurial ventures and promote environmentally responsible efforts. They will offer funds, business intelligence and responsible guidance to start-ups in the following industries: clothing, food, water, energy and waste. For more info or to present a proposal for funding, contact: info@patagoniaworks.com or call (805) 667-2300.

Surf Credits

Surf Credits partners with Volcom, Spy, Matuse Wetsuits, Waterways Surf Adventures, and Sticky Bumps to raise funds for the North Shore Community Land Trust and The Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii. By purchasing surf credits, customers receive promotional deals on retail goods and surf travel. Surf Credit promotes sustainable philanthropy, while also driving business for its sponsors.

Burton Snowboards: Closed-Circle System

Burton’s family-run, snowboard factory in Austria uses a closed-circle water system to cool their snowboard presses. The system pumps in cool water from a nearby lake; then returns clean water back to the earth. Additionally, wood scraps from the production process are used to power and heat the factory, including board presses and offices. Burton’s efforts reduce both their water consumption and their overall energy costs.

Zeal Optics: Sustainable Style

Not only is Zeal the first company to offer an entire sunglass line with frames and lenses made of durable plant-based resins, the company also reduces waste and costs through its warranty and repair services. Low-cost repairs and replacement parts provide an incentive to customers who would otherwise toss their broken glasses or request warranty-backed replacements.

SoleTech: Rooftop Solar System & “Double-Sided” Mindset

SoleTech installed a Rooftop Solar System at its Research and Design building that provides over 250,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually, equating to an annual savings of nearly $30,000 in energy costs. Additionally, the company fostered a company-wide mindset by urging all employees to save resources by printing double-sided documents. While this may seem trivial, the philosophy trickled into other office efficiencies, and reduced expenditures.

Sole Tech Founder Pierre André Senizergues at their new European HQ in Amsterdam. The building’s heating and cooling system is powered by this geothermal system.

Sustainable Surf: ECOBOARD Project

Firewire has joined the ECOBOARD Project by Sustainable Surf and now makes 100% of their boards as verified ecoboards. ECOBOARD-certified materials, manufactured in the US, were too costly to ship to Firewire’s manufacturing facility in Thailand, boxing them out of achieving ECOBOARD status. Sustainable Surf stepped in and initiated a deal between Firewire and Entropy Resins, allowing them to manufacture Entropy’s bio-based resin on site. Now, Firewire can eliminate costly material shipping charges and still carry the ECOBOARD label.