2019 has been a year for the EFPT with many tourstops in different European countries. More than 70 riders out of 19 different countries joined us this year and were travelling to those events by airplane, ferry and car or a combination of several ways of transportation in order to get to the spots. With the climate change being more present in the media than ever and with a growing awareness of the global warming that is caused by human kind, more and more people began to wonder what could be ‚returned‘ to planet earth and what could be contributed in order to reduce the CO2 footprint. It was in June this year, when Starboard international introduced the EFPT team to an incredible idea: to make the whole EFPT carbon-neutral by planting mangrove trees, absorbing travel-emissions from the EFPT crew and riders.
Being already in the middle of the season, we decided to start off with carbon-offsetting the two last events of the EFPT in 2019: the Engadinwind in Switzerland and the DAM-X in Brouwersdam, our big season finale. Our ambition for Switzerland has been to make the whole EFPT side ‚carbon-neutral‘ which means all the riders and the crew filled out a designated online form provided by Starboard Blue that would calculate the emissions. At the DAM-X however, not only all the riders and the international crew, but also the local crew has been involved to make the event carbon neutral. On top of that Starboard calculated emissions for the rescue and tow-in jetski as well as the photographer boat, to make this event as green as possible.
The DAM-X event has been a leading example already over the last couple of years when it comes to sustainability. The riders got personalized reuseable drinking-bottles to avoid plastic waste and at all the meals the organiser renounced non-resueable plates or cuttlery. Trying to neutralize most of the emissions around this event, was the next logical step and we are delighted that Starboard could make this happen.
We caught up with Tasmin Chilcott, Eco Project Manager at Starboard Co. lt to find out more about Starboard BLUE:
‘Here at Starboard we are a team of two but the environmental focus doesn’t just stop at two of us. The whole company has focus on the environment, right from our research and development team and future designs, our workshop team who have eliminated single-use plastic and our office culture. Spanning out from Starboard HQ we have teams and partners working with us to help us reach the same goal, to protect the earth and to have the blue vision to nurture what we can. Starboard are supporting SUP and Windsurf events across the world as well as the Munich OutDoor By ISPO exhibition. The SUP Head of The Dart was supported back in April where we planted 13 Mangrove trees with Worldview Foundation, Myanmar to absorb 12.774 tons of CO2 and we have British SUP Club Championships and the Nautic Show 2019 in the pipeline. To this date Starboard has 500,000 mangrove trees in the ground!
Our vision is to keep enjoying the playground we love and have fun in. We know this comes as a cost to nature but we can help nature recover and give it a helping hand where we can. For the EFPT we will continue to make these events carbon neutral and in the future we can aim to make them 10 X Climate Net Positive by calculating for everyones travel and the events electricity usage and then planting 10 times as many trees than actual emissions. Therefore absorbing for a lot more than emitted from the event but also emitting from what is produced for some stages of our life. We can come together and heal what has been damaged by humans in nature.‘
The Starboard teamriders are well aware of the effect that all the emissions of their travel have on the planet and are happy to contribute their part. We talked to Steven Van Broeckhoven (Starboard/Gunsails) and U16 EFPT Champion Lennart Neubauer (Starboard) in Silvaplana about the cooperation of the EFPT with Starboard:
The forms for a total of 266 people that have been travelling to the events have been handed in, with a breakdown of the travel modalities as follows: air travel: 54 people, bicycle: 2 people, camper: 4 people, car (solo): 127, car (share): 40, mini bus: 10, train: 3, van: 26.
Additionally the emissions for the jetski and boat that have been used at the events were included.
The final calculation has been a rounded amount of 75 Tons of CO2 emissions distributed over the participants, crew and organisers. A 10% increase has been included for any abnormalities.
Per ton of CO2 Starboard agreed to plant one mangrove tree, which means they will plant 75 trees in order to make the EFPT event in Switzerland, as well as the EFPT DAM-X in Holland, carbon neutral.
We are so proud on the outcome of this project so far and cannot wait to work together even closer with the team of Starboard, aiming to make the whole tour carbon-neutral for 2020. Furthermore we’ll work on organising beach clean-ups as well as motivating local organisers to consider sustainable ways to provide water and food for the crew and riders. Planet earth is our playground – let’s all work together to save it. Even if it’s just small steps – if everyone contributes a little bit, we can make a big impact all together.