The Burton Blog

How We're Making the World's Greatest Snowboard Event, the Greenest

We spend a lot of time in between where we are and where we're going next.

That sounds unsettling, but when you dedicate your life to progression, that’s the sweet spot. It requires a constant breaking down of massive goals into daily activities that continuously propel us forward.

When it comes to sustainability, we’ve made huge improvements, but the global environmental crisis demands much more. We recently welcomed POW’S executive director, Mario Molina, to Burton’s Vermont Headquarters for an update on all things climate science. One of the most promising topics we discussed is the size of the outdoor industry: We’re bigger than the pharmaceutical industry, and there are 12% more jobs in our industry than coal. We’re the sleeping giant in positive climate advocacy, and we’re activating.

POW at USO 2017. Attendees were able to step right into the phone booth on the left to call their elected official and take immediate action.
This photo is dropping a hint. For updates on climate voter guides and your opportunity to make an impact, take it.

Our sustainability goals for 2020 are extensive, and the World’s Greatest Snowboard Event is an opportunity for us to get after two pieces: Lowering the environmental impact of our events and inspiring change through advocacy.

We know that cleaning up our own house improves our ability to influence those around us. This year, we’ll host a carbon neutral event, tracking and offsetting the Burton USOpen Scope 1 and 2 carbon footprint in collaboration with Vail Resorts. That means that we record all electricity and fuel used to put on the event and then purchase credits in renewable projects to offset our impact.

We’re also working with all of our partners to improve the materials used and reduce the waste generated by the event. In 2018, we’ll make major progress toward putting on a zero waste USO by 2020 with 100% compostable or recyclable food and beverage ware, appropriate waste, compost, and recycling bins, recyclable signage, and dedicated staff from Vail’s Walking Mountain Science Center ensuring waste makes it into the appropriate bins.

USO 2017 Burton Girls Ride Day. We ride together, and we'll protect our playground together.

On the advocacy piece, we’ll partner with POW who’ll host their Phone2Action campaign right in the Village. For the past five years, we’ve partnered with POW to get riders and attendees to take personal action on climate, including the first ever “Phone It In” booth to get people to directly call their elected representatives on climate. This year, we’ll be signing people up to access a climate voter guide for the 2018 elections in the US.

When world leaders mock climate science, it can feel discouraging. But taking action is our antidote to that level of stupidity. As Burton CEO Donna Carpenter says, “a lot of good things come after ‘oh shit’ moments,” which can only mean the present is a sign of better times coming.

No matter where you are in the world, learn how you can help.