The Surfrider Foundation first National Board of Directors meeting of 2018 kicked off with a mixer event which welcomed activists, donors, volunteers and brand partners at the new Vans headquarters in Costa Mesa, California. Over 60 guests gathered in a bright and airy lounge for a cocktail hour followed by welcoming remarks by Surfrider's Development Director, Spencer Campbell and CEO Chad Nelsen. To close the evening Angela Howe, Surfrider's Legal Director educated guests on pressing local and national issues including plastic pollution, nuclear waste removal from our coastline and the newly proposed off shore drilling and opened up the forum for Q&A.
Vans has been a long-time supporter of Surfrider and has donated over $150,000 for our mission to protect our ocean, waves and beaches. For several years, Vans employees have participated in a company-wide Earth Day volunteer and team building exercise including a lunch-and-learn with Surfrider environmental staff and beach cleanups with local chapters along the Southern California coast. We are honored to continue this dynamic partnership in 2018 and to have Vans' continued participation as a Surf Industry Coastal Defender. With a rich, over 50 year heritage in California skate and surf culture Vans' new space is living up to every expectation - and more. The new headquarers represents a collaborative space for work, play and creative exploration embracing the four pillars of the Vans brand: Art, Music, Action Sports, and Street Culture and Fashion.
Sustainability was an critial element to the company, which acheived their goal of reaching LEED Platinum status, the highest standard in sustainable building. With a solar array of over 4,000 solar panels to power more than 50% of the headquarter’s electricity, 38 electric vehicle charging stations powered by the solar array, and energy-efficient technologies, it is a leading example of how our built environment can help support our natural environment. "Decisions about how and where we build structures and our communities have significant impacts on the natural environment and human health. Cities, regions, states and the private sector need information about the environmental effects of their land use to mitigate growth-related enviornmental impacts and to improve community quality of life and human health," states the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Surfrider commends Vans' forward thinking, conscious investment in the construction of this new space.
For those excited to dive into the details, here are a few specifics on how Vans is living up to the LEED requirements:
- A 1 Megawatt carport solar array. Over 4,000 solar panels will provide over 50 percent of the building’s energy needs, preventing 440 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year
- 38 electric vehicle charging stations, free for Vans employees to use. The EV charging stations will be powered by the solar array and encourage employees to reduce their carbon footprint and contribution to air pollution
- Designed to be 48% more energy efficient than building code requirements in California, by incorporating cutting edge lighting, heating and cooling technologies
- State of the art fixtures and equipment, making the new Vans headquarters 40% more water efficient than building code requirements
- 25% of building materials were extracted and manufactured with 500 miles of Costa Mesa
- 70% of the wood is Forest Stewardship Certified
- 14% of the building materials are recycled content