How are our boards sustainable?
Starboard is a company with a focus on sustainability, and this is clearly reflected in how the company does business. Under the leadership of founder Svein Rasmussen, Starboard has continuously pushed the boundaries of what is possible in terms of sustainable production and the implementation of a circular economy. As a result of its ongoing efforts, Starboard has not only implemented a sustainable and ethical supply chain, it has also become a leader in the development of sustainable production materials while also engaging in activities to promote the overall health of the planet and the oceans.
Responsible supply chains
While it’s certainly an important aspect, sustainability isn’t just a matter of environmental health. It’s also about being a socially positive force that builds up communities and helps to develop workers and economies in a way that allows them to grow and prosper in the long term.
It’s common for board manufacturers, like many other types of businesses that rely on manufacturing, to prioritise minimising supply costs over paying workers a socially conscious living wage. As a way to prioritise sustainability, Starboard makes a point of paying fair wages to everyone involved in creating their products, in addition to sourcing sustainable materials. This, in turn, also means a shift away from traditional packaging, such as dust bags and Styrofoam, particularly the latter of which makes up an enormous quantity of harmful plastic waste in the world’s oceans.
In recent years, Starboard has pushed the boundaries of what is possible with regard to recycling. Working together with Royal DSM —a global scientific innovator that’s primarily active in nutrition, health, and sustainable living—Starboard developed a resin for use in its boards starting in 2016 that’s upcycled from discarded fishing nets, which are collected primarily from the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. This helps to reduce the number of hazardous “ghost nets” that entangle and kill fish in the ocean, and which are estimated to account for approximately 640,000 tons of ocean plastic.
“One of the most satisfying parts of our work is the challenge of redesigning our products to lower their environmental impact and achieve higher performance,” said Svein Rasmussen, Founder and CEO, Starboard. “Through this collaboration with DSM, we showcase how quick and easy it can be to change the way we build better boards for the planet. We want to continuously push boundaries for more eco-innovations for our boards.”
In its ongoing work with Royal DSM, Starboard has now also begun to produce fins, fin boxes, SUP pumps, and other structural components from recycled nets, further reducing its impact on the environment.
Starboard reaches beyond its own business to improve the health of the planet. It is partnered with numerous environmental organisations in Southeast Asia, pursuing a variety of goals, from relatively smaller projects like cleaning up plastic pollution from beaches and waterways and recycling styrofoam, to tackling much larger issues, such as fighting climate change directly with Worldview international foundation. As part of this latter project, Starboard has committed to plant 100 million mangrove trees, each of which can absorb up to 1 ton of carbon over 20 years.
Rather than pursuing just a single avenue to promote sustainability, Starboard takes a comprehensive approach to ensuring that its business is both sustainable and environmentally friendly. Moreover, we work to promote this attitude in everyone we interact with, even our customers. All Starboard paddles include trash pickers to help paddlers remove plastic waste from the water. In this way the company works to raise awareness of environmental issues, while also providing people with the means to get involved and do their part.