Zappos Sustainability Rockstar: Derek Sabori of Volcom

Hi everyone! My name is Holly Moynahan and I am Zappos’ Sustainability Apprentice (intern) for summer 2015! As part of my sustainability apprenticeship, I got the opportunity to interview a few sustainability rockstars from some of Zappos’ favorite brands. This will be blogged as a series and below is my first interview with Derek Sabori at Volcom. Please read, share, & enjoy!

 

Volcom, Zappos Culture, Zappos Sustainability, global sustainability, LEED Certified workplaceWhat's your favorite thing about your job? 

DS: Besides working for a brand that is committed to the sports and lifestyle I love!? Working with all the different aspects of the business has got to be a close second. I get to have the unique role of working smack-dab in the middle of the action. I report to the CEO, interact with most all the teams here at Volcom, and act as our brand sustainability liaison to Kering’s sustainability team in Paris, France. It’s not too bad…I mean, where else does the sustainability guy get to sit in the commentator’s booth next to a surf legend (a-hem Gerry Lopez) and talk shop during the worldwide webcast of a major surf contest?

 

Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?

DS: More and more I’m inspired by what’s left to do. I think sustainability is sort of a never-ending pursuit, and if you’ve got a competitive drive, you’re constantly trying to tackle as much as possible and are always aware that the finish line is this elusive target that feels within reach, but is always just slightly, out of it. So I’m inspired by that challenge. I’m also inspired by the fact that there are people in the company that are passionate about sustainability, changing their own personal lifestyles, and are committed to seeing us through with the sustainability vision we’ve created for ourselves.

 

What do you do to stay motivated and energized?

DS: I make time for my personal well-being; It’s a priority for me. I surf as often as my schedule will allow it, and do yoga (thanks to some inspiration from our Volcom Wellness Committee) and other strengthening programs all throughout the week. My family life keeps me energized as well – love that crew!

 

If you could be an animal, what would you be?

DS: A whale shark.

 

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A little bit more about sustainability at Volcom

Volcom has an Environmental Sustainability program and a Product and Social Safety Program (P.A.S.S.). Volcom is also a part of the Kering Group and follows in suit with their robust sustainability program.

A couple of things to note about sustainability at Volcom:

  • Volcom measures its impacts by way of the EP&L (Environmental Profit & Loss)
  • Volcom continues to increase the amount of recycled fiber it uses in its products, mostly through the use of Repreve branded fibers.
  • Volcom is a Fair Labor Association member (and possibly the first in its industry)
  • Thanks to Kering, Volcom’s Scope 1-2 emissions are offset with REDD+ credits, through Wildlife works. The same goes for Volcom’s Sustainable by Design/Deep Blue Surf Events.
  • You can almost always find a current community event, or Give Back initiative happening at Volcom.
  • Volcom has a strong wellness program at its offices and offers an incentive each month for sustainable living (fun raffle).

You can see much of what Volcom does/has done here at http://newfuture.volcom.com/ and at https://www.facebook.com/volcomnewfuture

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_LEAF

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Two New Toyota Hybrids join the Zappos Fleet!

Zappos is excited to announce the addition of two new Toyota Highlander Hybrids to our fleet of shuttle vehicles. Zappos has a fleet of six vehicles and one bus. We use the vehicles to “WOW” our brand reps from Nike, Adidas, Frye, UGG, etc. with rides to and from the airport when they come to visit our Las Vegas HQ for meetings. We also extend the “WOW” to our employees who travel for work or need a ride to the doctor’s office. If you are a job candidate, then it’s most likely we’ll be picking you up from the airport, too!

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Zappos pledged to always give replacement priority to electric, hybrid, or CNG vehicles as the fleet vehicles reach their life expectancy. We’re conscious of the miles we drive and the more MPG we gain, the less emissions we produce. The two new Toyota Highlander Hybrids are replacing a Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon. In the fall of 2012, Zappos purchased its first alternative fuel vehicle, a compressed natural gas (CNG) Dodge Caravan.  The new Toyotas have a fancy vinyl wrap that turns heads constantly. The wraps prominently feature the word “hybrid” to demonstrate our commitment to cleaner driving to our customers, brand reps, employees, and fellow Las Vegas residents.

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Zappos has an awesome team of six drivers. Zack, a nine-year Zapponian, and Dennis, a seven-year Zapponian, were responsible for researching and procuring the Toyota hybrids. “It’s a better vehicle. It’s better for the environment. Employees are asking about the benefits of the hybrid engine and how it drives. They feel special riding in them. The hybrids were a great choice”, said Zack. Dennis commented, “Zappos leads by example and it was the right thing to do. In the long run, the extra cost of the hybrids will pay off for us because of the miles we drive. They’re by far the most efficient vehicles we’ve ever had.”

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Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

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2014 Children’s Recycling Art Contest Winner Announced

The following article is by Janet T.

It is crucial to teach our children the importance of recycling and adopting a sustainable lifestyle. Evidence indicates that this generation will have the greatest impact on the environment for the next 50-100 years.  Recycling reduces the amount of resources we consume and helps to remove toxic materials from production. Valuable resources are being wasted in landfills and large amounts of greenhouse gases are being produced as these landfills decompose.

In our efforts to encourage kids to keep the planet near and dear to their hearts, Zappos LEAF holds an annual Children’s Art Contest. This year, we asked kids to express “why they love recycling” through drawing. Up for grabs was a $50 Zappos.com Gift Card just in time for the holidays!

Zappos LEAF Team awarded 10-year-old Ethan V. a $50 Zappos.com Gift Card for providing us with a phenomenal picture describing why he loves recycling! We also wanted to give a shout out to his entire family, for all three lovely children participated in this year’s contest!

The 2014 Children’s Recycling Art Contest Winner

Thank you to all the kids who participated! Comment below and tell us why YOU love recycling!

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

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Fall 2014 Updates

Hiya friends,

It’s been a minute since we updated the LEAF blog, but rest assured the LEAF team has been busy. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve been up to so far this fall.

Grass removal project:

Our LEED Gold campus is 57% more water efficient (compared to the baseline model) thanks in part to the desert landscaping all around the building. However, we do have a patch of grass we call the “backyard”.  The backyard grass is nice for yoga sessions and petting zoos but since we aren’t utilizing all the grass, we just replaced a third of it with more desert landscaping.  Desert landscaping is easier to maintain and helps with water conservation.

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New Trane chiller with VFD and Free Cool:

In order to cool our office space we need big HVAC equipment, such as chillers. This fall we replaced an old chiller with a new Trane 550 ton chiller with a preinstalled variable frequency drive (VFD) and free cool system. The VFD throttles the machine up and down depending on demand instead of running at 100% all of the time. The free cool system should allow us to use outside air in the winter for all of our cooling needs – preventing the need to run HVAC equipment. It’s a big investment that will yield efficiencies and energy savings in the long run.

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Tech Department Coffee Mugs:

Our tech teams were looking for ways to reduce their use of disposable coffee cups so they bought a whole bunch of coffee mugs for their break rooms. The reusable mugs can be washed in our energy and water efficient dishwashers countless times; AKA less paper waste from single use cups. We applaud our tech teams for championing this initiative!

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SXSW Eco Conference:

The LEAF team visited Austin, Texas in October for the SXSW Eco conference. We enjoyed 3 days of awesome speakers, presentations, and networking. We were also proud to sponsor the 2014 SXSW Eco Ping Pong Tournament! There were some ferocious ping pong battles throughout the week, but when the dust settled, an app developer from Sweden, Henrik S., won the tournament and a $250 gift certificate to Zappos.com.

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VERGE Conference:

I’m writing this blog post while in San Francisco at the 2014 VERGE Conference. VERGE, put on by the GreenBiz Group, brings together experts who are integrating sustainability into cities, transportation, and technology. We’re here to pursue growth and learning! (Zappos Core Value #5)

 

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

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Zappos Installs Solar Panels

Here comes the sun! - and Zappos is taking full advantage of the more than 300 sunny days a year in Las Vegas to generate clean electricity using new photovoltaic solar panels. For the first time in company history, Zappos installed 66 280-Watt solar panels creating an 18.48 kW solar array on the roof of our Z-Bistro

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Las Vegas is known as a solar hot spot with excellent solar radiation. The deserts around Las Vegas are home to some of the world’s largest solar arrays including the 64 MW Nevada Solar One power plant and the 390 MW Ivanpah Solar Power Facility. Additionally, many Las Vegas residents are adding small solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems to the rooftops of their homes. That rocks!

The 18.48 kW Zappos Bistro solar project might be small in comparison to the ones mentioned above, but it’s our first step towards clean, renewable energy while our sustainability team researches larger solar installations. We certainly are proud parents!

Check out this sweet time-lapse video of the installation filmed by the awesomely talented Zappos A/V team.

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf           

Zappos Garage Lighting Retrofit

Here’s a story to brighten your day! ;) On May 29th, we completed a retrofit of the Zappos South Garage’s lighting by replacing the old, yellow high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures with bright white, energy-efficient induction lighting fixtures. The Zappos garage is quite large and offers parking for more than 600 cars.

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Garage lighting retrofit projects are the ultimate low-hanging fruit in the sustainability world. In addition to providing superior illumination, the Zappos retrofit is projected to reduce the annual energy consumption of the garage by two thirds! That’s 323,000 kWh/year; the equivalent of roughly 25 homes and a reduction of 223 metric tons of CO2e emissions.

Induction lighting is really cool and dates back more than a century to when Nikola Tesla advanced the technology in the 1890s. Induction is unique because the power required to generate light is transferred from outside the lamp envelope to the gas inside via an electric or magnetic field. Benefits of induction include long life spans, low heat output and excellent color. The Zappos induction lamps are even more advanced. The lamps have two brightness levels, dimming controls, daylight sensors and occupancy sensors – reducing the “ON” hours and saving even more energy!

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: @Zappos_leaf       

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Recap: Zappos 3rd Annual Earth Day Party

On April 24th, Zappos hosted its 3rd Annual Earth Day Party at our new LEED-Gold* downtown Las Vegas campus! The plaza courtyard was packed with employees, vendors, and friends – this year’s event was leaps and bounds larger than the two previous year’s events. 

Zappos LEAF teamed up with Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day this year to bring our kids to our Earth Day Party. The LEAF team gave a presentation about recycling, solar energy and water conservation to more than 100 kids! The kids already know so much about the importance of protecting our earth’s resources – it’s inspiring!

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The LEAF team raffled two awesome beach cruisers for Zappos employees who participated in the event. Employees could earn extra raffle tickets for bringing used cell phones and batteries for proper recycling.  Needless to say, we collected a whole bunch of cell phones and batteries!

It is evident by the excitement around this event that Zappos employees really care about the environment and actively seek out ways to reduce their impacts. Though we celebrate Earth Day just one day a year, we really try to remind our employees and friends that it is important to celebrate every day with daily acts of “greenness”. The Zappos LEAF team is thankful to have such great support from the company and employees. You guys rock!

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Thanks to these very special friends for making Earth Day 2014 a huge success:

prAna

Keen

Republic Services

Renu Oil of America

Springs Preserve

Sierra Nevada

BluMarble

Klean Kanteen

ChicoBags

Clean the World

Friends of Nevada Wilderness

NV Energy

A1 Organics

Vegas Roots

Create a Change Now

Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC)

WonderSoil

Zerorez

Outside Las Vegas

Taylored Photo Memories

Fat Daddy’s Ice Cream

Eurest Catering (for the bomb grilled corn)

Check out more awesome news from LEAF on Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

 

*Pending final USGBC approval

The Blind Center of Nevada

blind center of nevada, recycling, recycling electronics, recycling programs, Zappos LEAF, Zappos Sustainability, community, Community efforts, North Las Vegas, Downtown Las Vegas, Zappos Campus, The Blind Center of NevadaZappos LEAF is very proud to work with the Blind Center of Nevada to recycle computers and IT equipment for a good cause.  During our epic move from Henderson, NV to Ddowntown Las Vegas, we donated more than 800 flat screen monitors and other IT equipment to The Blind Center to be refurbished and sold, or recycled, with all of the proceeds directly funding programs and job creation for the blind and visually impaired.

Located in North Las Vegas, The Blind Center is the largest private not-for-profit seller on eBay, with 60% of its operating costs covered by electronics re-sale. The Blind Center is also a very green operation; including an impressive rooftop solar array that powers almost 100% of the electricity needed at its North Las Vegas headquarters

On a recent visit to The Blind Center, directors Cory and Ronnie showed the Zappos LEAF team that the Center is a joyful, happy place focused on helping people who are both genetically and newly blind to socialize, be active and reach their full potential.

The Center has grown to include classes in music, crafting, exercise and even bowling! Volunteers also lead members on trips to the grocery store and picnics at Red Rock Park. This holiday season, members of the center are busy assembling beautiful holiday gift baskets filled with delicious chocolate treats, with all proceeds benefitting The Blind Center programs (definitely check it out!).

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On November 15, Zappos LEAF celebrated America Recycles Day by collecting computers, printers, and other home electronics from employees for donation to the Blind Center. We look forward to our continued friendship with The Blind Center; improving both the lives of others and the health of our planet.

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For more information about the Blind Center of Nevada, please visit: blindcenter.org

Check out more exciting news from LEAF on Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: #zappos_leaf