West Marine releases sustainability report


West Marine released its BlueFuture 2011 Sustainability Report, which encompasses companywide efforts focusing on sustainability, including improving and protecting marine environments, reducing the company's carbon footprint and supporting the communities where its associates live and work.

The report details West Marine’s companywide policies to reduce greenhouse gases, commitments to healthy waterways and fisheries and programs focused on encouraging children to get out on the water.

In the next five years, the company hopes to reduce landfill waste and its carbon footprint by 25 percent and improve product sustainability by 25 percent as well.

“For over four decades, West Marine has assisted boaters on the world’s oceans, lakes and rivers. Being boating’s largest retailer, we believe we have a responsibility to minimize the environmental impact of products on the waterways that are so critical to all living things,” CEO Geoff Eisenberg said in a statement.

Some of the highlights from West Marine’s 2011 Sustainability Report:

• West Marine fulfilled 481 grants to support youth boating, boating safety, boating for charity, marine conservation and matching dollars for associates’ donations.

• West Marine associates frequently donated time and energy to non-profit, marine-based organizations.

• “Green Product of the Year” honorees included Entropy's Super Sap epoxy, Torqeedo's Travel 1003 Electric Outboard and the Lehr Propane Powered Outboard Motor.

• Customers selected 13 percent more green boating products, reducing chemicals of concern from being discharged into waterways.

• West Marine reduced its own carbon footprint almost 14 percent since its 2007 baseline

    “By reporting both our strengths and weaknesses we are trying to be transparent about the significant improvement we’ve made, but also acknowledge that we’ve hardly scratched the surface of what needs to be done,” Eisenberg added. “We’ve set extremely challenging aspirational goals for 2017. We hope to make even more progress going forward.”