ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT

We recognise that surfing isn’t the most environmentally friendly with a heavy reliance on the petro chemical industry!

However we do deeply care about protecting and cleaning up our coastline and reducing our overall impact on the environment. As such we are looking in depth at how we do this, reducing our carbon footprint, educating our customers, putting profits to re-wild scotlands forrests and supporting environmental research into the surf industries carbon footprint.

PROTECT

BEACH & COASTAL CLEANS Since our formation in 2004 we have been organising and partnering with Surfers Against Sewage local beach cleans in East Lothian and we run beach cleans on our island and north coast tours. We also do 2 minute beach cleans in surf and paddle board courses. In 2022 we are also hoping to be part of a new zero waste campaign to offer litter pickers for free at the surf centre for the general public to use on daily walks along the beach. We also aim to run three bigger local beach cleans in 2022 and promote other organisations doing so too. The aim is always to leave the locations we use better than we find them.

NO PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL TRACE We have also been concious of our impact on tours around Scotland and we aim to leave the locations better than we find. We have also been concious for over a decade of the power of digital media to bring large numbers of people to lovely locations that eventually spoil and harm the locations. We are careful to never promote where we travel too on surf camps or local adventures. Any photos we use are cropped to leave no trace of where we are and customers are asked not to promote the locations too. The aim to leave no digital trace so others can come up on the beautiful locations in the way we found them.

 

REDUCE

POWER We are actively trying to reduce our power needs and go greener. The first stage of this was to move to the purpose built Belhaven surf centre which uses an air source heat pump and underfloor heating so we could reduce consumption. The second stage is to fund solar to make the building energy positive by 2025. We are actively looking at solutions for funding this in 2022 as it will not only reduce costs for the buildings wide range of users but also potentially bring excess electricity back as a fund to the community building to reduce the buildings loans or potentially provide part of the power for other areas we wish to explore with the council  by 2024 space for electrical charging for customers, beach users and both our and our fellow tenants future electric vehicle needs.

TRANSPORT We are actively trying to reduce transport need for ourselves which has massively reduced since moving into the surf centre in 2019. We hope to go further with a move to move greener, potentially electric for our local van by 2025. We aim to actively promote greener transport to customers and have discounted codes for public transport, car sharing or walking/cycling in place in 2022 hopefully post covid.

REDUCING PACKAGING We are working with our suppliers to reduce excess packaging within the surf industry and we recycle all packaging we can. We have seen movement here as many of our suppliers far less than before however there is still more that can be done.

PAPERLESS OFFICE AND VOUCHERS We have actively taken our office, booking, vouchers and payment systems online since 2019 and whenever possible try to run to a paperless environment or use recycled paper. Our marketing is also mainly online now.

RECYCLING EQUIPMENT We try to recycle all our equipment (boards and wetsuits) we buy, back into the local surf community giving a much longer shelf life. This ensures that customers have new quality equipment to use in the surf school sessions and customers are buying quality second hand products that will last a decent amount of time. The challenge now is to look at solutions for equipment that has hit the end of the cycle with customers – old wetsuits and boards and offer alternative to land fill. We hope to do this working with partners and welcome ideas.

GREEN RETAIL We aim to promote green retail retailing – with more environmentally friendly products where we can. In 2022 we will look at everything we supply and actively see if there are environmentally friendlier alternatives. We are also aware that supplying high quality durable products with longer life spans, is sometimes better than short span more enviornmentally friendly products due to the energy in production.

RESTORE

TREE PLANTING In 2020 we planted a tree for all our junior holiday courses and tours with 220 new trees planted through an organisation called with trees for life, an organisation re-wilding the Scottish highlands. We have added just under 500 new trees in 2021 to the same project.

We are in discussions with the council looking at more local alternatives for tree planting, so our customers, particularly the young can see their trees grow up with them – giving a long term connection with nature. We are also in very early discussions about any local potential for sea re-wilding projects and if its needed locally and how we can support.

EDUCATE

WILDLIFE EDUCATION In 2021 our instructors took part in wildlife training courses and we also became a member Wise Adventure pledging to follow best practice with wildlife and environment while doing our lessons and courses.

We aim to invite and work with partners, offering talks and environmental courses to educate about the environment and coastal protection as soon as we can open the education room in 2022. We also welcome Wilder education to the Belhaven Surf Centre, a new CIC, aimed at outdoor learning with both Forest and Coastal School activity weeks and School courses that hopefully we can help promote and grow as we both seek to educate in this area.

LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL SIGNAGE We have been working with the council to improve safety and environmental messaging in 2020/21. The latest sign is a very simple one “Leave nothing but your footprint” in the beach car park.

PLAN

ENVIRONMENTAL PLAN 2022/23 With Covid effecting the movements of our ex instructor Adam, who has done a masters in this area, things have been delayed slightly. However we aim to have a full plan with our current carbon footprint in place in 2022 with clear objectives and measurable targets and if needed seek to get help to achieve our targets. The first stage of this was to collate Customer data capture with connection to vehicle use which was set up in 2021.