Sustainability & Climate Action

“As surfers, but also as citizens of the world, we strongly believe in the need for a clean and healthy ocean. Few other sports have as much direct contact with the ocean environment as we do, so it is part of our life and duty to do anything we can to preserve and protect this cherished part of our earth.”

– ISA President Fernando Aguerre

ISA President Fernando Aguerre wears a ‘no plastic’ hat at the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games to highlight the negative effects of plastic pollution on the environment.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre wears a ‘no plastic’ hat at the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games to highlight the negative effects of plastic pollution on the environment.

In 2018, the ISA declared Sustainability as a core value and priority for the organization.

Ocean pollution and climate change loom as major global challenges for humanity.

These challenges are not only a threat for our sport of surfing, but also for the world as a whole. Understanding the need for a unified, global call to action, the ISA is taking number of steps to do our part to have a positive impact:

CleanSeas

Demonstrating our commitment to environmental sustainability, the ISA formed a partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in support of the United Nations-led CleanSeas Campaign.

Launched in 2017, the CleanSeas Campaign is an environmental initiative aimed at engaging governments, the general public, civil society and the private sector in the fight against marine plastic litter. 

A competitor at the 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship utilizes the water refill station to eliminate the use of plastic bottles.

A competitor at the 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship utilizes the water refill station to eliminate the use of plastic bottles.

The ISA’s pledges to the CleanSeas Campaign started on June 5, 2018, World Environmental Day, and came as part of a wider plan to call on sport, and the Olympic Movement, to join the effort and implement sustainability actions wherever possible. 

In supporting the CleanSeas Campaign, the ISA committed to the following sustainability goals: 

  • Include Sustainability as a core value of the ISA.
  • Elect a Sustainability Partner to help identify best practices, develop recommendations, establish targets and define collaboration using the ISA World Championships and media as a platform to reach a wider audience.
  • Develop a Sustainability Strategic plan.
  • Eliminate single-use plastics at all ISA World Championships by 2019.
  • Expand module on Sustainability in all ISA Educational Materials, including Coaching and Judging Courses to educate and empower Coaches, Instructors and Judges as Environmental Ambassadors. 

See the IOC’s report on the ISA’s commitment to sustainability here.

Highlights from the 2019 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship Sustainability actions:

Highlights from the 2019 Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Sustainability actions:

 

Sport for Climate Action

In addition to the CleanSeas campaign, the ISA has committed to the United Nations’ ‘Sports for Climate Action’ – an initiative that helps and guides sports to reach their climate goals. 

Sports that join the movement commit to the following five principles: 

  • Principle 1: Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility
  • Principle 2: Reduce overall climate impact
  • Principle 3: Educate for climate action
  • Principle 4: Promote sustainable and responsible consumption
  • Principle 5: Advocate for climate action through communication

Join the wave

Prioritizing Sustainability and tackling climate change are global challenges that equally affect us all. While we need to act in unison, small acts by many can also make a big difference. 

Join us and do your part in implementing sustainable practices into your life to ensure a healthy future for our planet and sport.

Plastic litter collected on the beach during an ISA World Championship.

Plastic litter collected on the beach during an ISA World Championship.