Venture Snowboards is a small company located in Silverton, Colorado, United States. It started in 1999, and from the beginning they have had a strong commitment to minimize the environmental impact.
Venture Snowboards factory is run by wind powered energy. when did you take that step and why? what difficulties did you find to accomplish that?
We started using wind power in 2004 to run both our factory and our administrative offices. An environmental commitment has always been a core principle here at Venture since we started back in 1999, and it continues to guide everything we do today. As snowboarders and outdoors people, we feel compelled to help protect the wild places that inspire us – it’s just always been a defining part of who we are and how we do business. Our electricity co-op offers wind power, so setting it up was actually quite easy, though green power does cost us more than if we were using conventional power sources.
“As snowboarders and outdoors people, we feel compelled to help protect the wild places that inspire us – it’s just always been a defining part of who we are and how we do business”
What other actions do you do in order to respect the environment?
Some examples of our environmental commitment in action include our use of only Forest Stewardship Council certified wood for our cores from day one, running our entire operation on wind power since 2004, and maintaining a membership in 1% For the Planet, which requires us to donate 1% of annual sales to environmental causes each year. New this year we are incorporating castor bean topsheet material into the mix, which reduces our use of petroleum based plastics. And we are continually looking for creative ways to reduce our impact in all sectors of our operation, whether that be through such simple actions as using materials more efficiently to eliminate waste or sourcing our materials as close to home as possible to reduce petroleum intensive transport.
“We are continually looking for creative ways to reduce our impact in all sectors of our operation”
Do you think that every company in the outdoors market will become more eco-friendly eventually?
I think the climate change issue is by far the most important factor for our industry. We have no livelihood if we don’t have any snow, and as the Sierra Club’s David Brower is so often quoted for saying: “There is no business to be done on a dead planet.” There has been a lot of forward movement in the industry on this issue the last few years. I don’t know whether that’s because going green is the hottest new marketing trend or because the snow sports community has finally taken this problem to heart, but in my opinion the motivation doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that now more than ever the industry as a whole is taking some responsibility for its actions and thinking about ways to do better. It’s going to be a long road and a continual process of improvement, but at least now we’re all starting to pull in the same direction.
“There is no business to be done on a dead planet.”
Thanks to Lisa Branner, Venture snowboards’ owner, along with her husband Klemens Branner.
Scott DW Smith.
Heather Taterka & Víctor Perisé