As surfers, the ocean is more than just our favorite place to play. It is our arena, our office and our inspiration. The ocean, with its waves and beaches, reefs and high seas, is truly our greatest resource and connector.

At the World Surf League (WSL), the global home of professional surfing, we take our responsibility to protect our oceans and beaches seriously. We embrace a sustainable ethos and in 2016 founded the nonprofit WSL PURE, which is on a mission to inspire, educate and empower ocean lovers. Additionally, as a leader in sustainability in sports, WSL is a proud participant in, and a 2018 signatory to, the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.

In 2019, WSL announced a series of sustainability commitments that set a new standard for global professional sports:

  1. Becoming carbon neutral globally;
  2. Eliminating single-serve plastics at our events;
  3. Investing in local communities through activations and an annual grant program.
    These commitments apply to the WSL Championship Tour, the highest level of competitive surfing. The tour comprises a global series of competitions where the best surfers on the planet compete for world titles.

Since 2018, WSL has measured, reduced and offset emissions from WSL Championship Tour, Big Wave Tour and WSL Operations. In total, we have offset 16,089 tonnes of CO2 emissions (mtCO2e) including 100% nature-based solutions, which is equivalent to planting and growing 266,035 trees for 10 years (EPA). In 2021, WSL's sister company Kelly Slater Wave Co. also deepened its investment in this space by offsetting operations at WSL Surf Ranch, in Lemoore, Calif., a world-class facility that features the longest, rippable, open barrel human-made wave.

In 2021, we launched a global initiative called "We Are One Ocean," with the goal of bringing people together to care about the issue of ocean conservation and preserve the future of surfing for generations of surfers to come. Since the launch of We Are One Ocean, our campaign has brought together people from more than 150 countries and 90 organizations as well as garnering more than 400 million cumulative reach on social media. In November 2021, we delivered our We Are One Ocean petition in the form of a short film to the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity, calling on world leaders to protect and conserve 30 percent of the global ocean by 2030. Our short film received the inaugural Bronze Award through the Anthem Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility and the campaign was amplified in a tweet by Elizabeth Mrema, the Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity.

For 2022, our We Are One Ocean campaign continues to be front and center for WSL athletes and fans through a series of education and conservation initiatives, including event-based activations highlighting the great work of local grassroots organizations around the globe, as well as innovative short-form content pieces. Through our combined social reach of more than 17 million, as well as our digital platform and live global event broadcasts, WSL is able to bring these initiatives to millions of people.

The first event in 2022 took place as part of the opening stop on the Championship Tour in Hawaii, where we worked with Mālama Pūpūkea Waimea, a community based nonprofit, to care for Hawaii's fragile reefs. For the second stop we teamed up with Nā Kama Kai and the North Shore Community Land Trust to restore native plants, and most recently, we worked with ReGeneration Surf to restore the ocean by replanting golden kelp forests in Peniche, Portugal.

In addition to community activations, 2022 is the second year of our WSL PURE grants, which are awarded to organizations supporting We Are One Ocean in key regions around the world. Last year's grant recipients protected and restored surf ecosystems in Brazil, Mexico, Hawaii, and California and led a youth conservation summit in Africa. The 2022 grantees will be announced on Earth Day, April 22.

Our sustainability initiatives are an ongoing journey that allow us to interact with and learn from athletes, scientists, conservationists, ocean advocates, ocean lovers and stakeholder communities. At WSL, we use our platform not only to tell stories about our incredible athletes, but also for the good of the ocean. We are committed to inspiring surfers, ocean lovers and ocean enthusiasts across the globe to act locally to protect and conserve our one ocean.

To learn more about WSL, please reach out to partnerships@worldsurfleague.com

World Surf League
Download it for free on the App store. Download it for free on Google Play.