Launched in 2012, the Ecoboard Project is the first, independent 3rd party consumer-facing “eco-label” for surfboards. The Ecoboard Project educates and engages individuals about the environmental impacts of their surfing lifestyle through the lens of their surfboard. The simple act of choosing a more sustainable surfboard can be an “on-ramp” into a dramatically more sustainable, ocean-friendly life

The rapid growth and interest in sustainable surfboards warrants a significant update to the Ecoboard Project. After four years of a single-tier system, we will be implementing a new two-tier system.

Informed by Sustainable Surf’s Ecoboard lifecycle assessment, the higher tier of the system – Ecoboard Gold Level – targets the top sustainable surfboards and surfboard producers – those with the greatest environmental impact reduction. It also rewards transparency of sustainability claims, through the verification of sustainable supply chains and reporting on environmental impact.

The lower tier is essentially the existing Ecoboard Base Level, which makes it easy for any surfboard builder to get started making Ecoboards.

Key elements of the lower tier:

To use the Ecoboard Base Level logo, a surfboard should:
• Use at least one approved material in its construction
o Plant-based epoxy resin with at least 19% bio-carbon content
o Foam blank with at least 25% recycled or plant-based content
o Wood structure that significantly reduces foam or resin content
• Be manufactured by a company that has signed to the program


Key elements of the higher tier:

To use’ the new Ecoboard Gold Level logo, a surfboard should:
• Use at least one Gold Level material (blank or resin), and one other material of any Tier (foam or resin)
• Be manufactured in a facility that has achieved Gold Level status for board builders

A Gold Level material should meet the following requirements:

• Plant-based epoxy resin containing at least 25% bio-carbon content and has received USDA Bio-Preferred certification for the final cured resin
• Foam blank containing at least 25% bio-carbon or recycled content
• Has been the subject of a lifecycle assessment (LCA) – incorporating impact indicators relevant to the Ecoboard Project’s focus areas – carbon footprint, renewable/recycled inputs and reduced toxicity
• Demonstrate that qualifying material inputs are sourced from a sustainably managed supply chain

For a surfboard manufacturer to make Gold Level Ecoboards, they should:

• Undergo a “sustainability review” with Sustainable Surf – helping to identify key sustainability opportunities
• Commit to reducing waste in the board making process
• Commit to an energy efficiency assessment to find ways to save energy and attempt to use renewable energy and/or carbon offsets
• Emphasize worker health and safety, and minimize exposure to carcinogenic chemicals

Sustainable Surf is committed to helping board manufacturers through this process and ensuring that there are business benefits associated with these commitments. Reducing waste and energy usage often result in monetary savings.

Other updates to the Ecoboard Project

In addition to introducing the two-tier system, the Ecoboard Project will be updated in several ways to improve the mechanics of the program, increase the educational and marketing reach of the program, and provide value to participating manufacturers. Key updates include:

• Clearer processes and systems for participating manufacturers;
• A new website with more information regarding materials and manufacturers – so that the surf community can understand ‘what’s in their board’;
• Advice and support for manufacturers regarding ways to improve energy use and decrease waste – helping save profits and the planet; and
• Increased focus on marketing and story generation for partners – we want to help tell everyone’s sustainability story.

For further information or to discuss changes to the Ecoboard Project please contact Brett Giddings – Ecoboard Project Coordinator:

A comprehensive system description can be provided upon request.