The concept of sustainability started making its way into the conversation at Volcom sometime in 2005. Back then, however, we didn’t call it that…we were simply learning about the environment benefits of organic cotton, recycled PET and hemp and we likes it. Soon enough, a small group of us banded together and made a push to get these products into the line. Then, having done so, we wanted to tell people about them; we wanted out employees to know about what we were learning and we wanted our customers to learn as well. We called this part of the line/collection Volcom Verde.
Since then, the product range name has changed from Verde to V.Co-logical and now back to simply Volcom; and during that time, the entire structure of the business has changed as well. Volcom went from a private company to a publicly traded company, to a company acquired by – and now owned by – a world class management company based out of France with a then budding sustainability strategy of its own.
However, with a steady history behind it, an executive level position dedicated to it and world-class resources available there are still challenges to changing the course of a brand and truly engraining sustainability into a business. In my talk, I hope to shed some light on the experience that has been this journey as well as some of those challenges.
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About the speaker
Since starting at Volcom in 1996, Derek has held many diverse roles at the company and currently serves as the Vice President of Sustainability under the leadership of the CEO and the Sustainability Team at Kering, Volcom’s parent company.
In the year’s since, Derek received his MBA from the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine and has made it his mission to share his vision of a healthy and sustainable future for his two children by carving out a professional niche in Sustainability and by self publishing a children’s Eco-Action Adventure picture book.
Derek serves as a director on the boards of the Costa Mesa Foundation, the Orange Coast College Foundation and PangeaSeed – an NGO dedicated to shark and ocean conservation.