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PADI Pillars of Change


PADI Pillars of Change

PADI Pillars of Change Standing up for People and Planet

One of the most significant ways we can honor our legacy and give back to current and future generations is to do our part to operate the PADI® organization responsibly, support a sustainable dive industry and protect the ocean on which all life depends.

The PADI Pillars of Change are reflective of PADI’s core brand values and the commitments we hold for the betterment of people and planet. Actively pursuing a course of action to address ocean challenges by engaging local communities is critical for achieving balance between humanity and nature.

Pillar 1 – Ocean Conservation

Empower our community to take conservation action for global impact

PADI Pillars of Change

Inspired by the diver in the PADI logo and our legacy ethos to protect the underwater world, we created the PADI Torchbearer Community as a way to mobilize millions of divers – and anyone with the desire to explore and protect the ocean – to take collective action for the ocean above and below the surface. Our mission is to aggregate a billion PADI Torchbearers to explore and protect the ocean.

With our primary partner in conservation, PADI AWARE Foundation, we are proactively working to address the environmental crisis by tackling key ocean threats like habitat destruction, climate change, and marine debris. Together, PADI and AWARE established the PADI Blueprint for Ocean Action, joining the United Nation’s universal call for a Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically supporting the implementation of SDG14 – Life Below Water.

To achieve these critical conservation goals, PADI will unite the largest network of dive centers, resorts, dive professionals and divers to take action as PADI Torchbearers in their communities, linking local action to global impact.

Pillar 2 – Industry Sustainability

Reduce the global environmental footprint of the dive industry

PADI Pillars of Change

Diving is one of the largest and fastest growing recreational activities in the world. We recognize that appropriate human use and enjoyment of coastal and marine resources is fundamental to the livelihood of millions of people that live in coastal communities. Recreational diving and dive tourism are essential to the economic livelihoods in many places around the globe.

As the largest and most influential company in the dive industry, PADI has the unique opportunity to foster a dive economy that acts responsibly and contributes to the economic value and resilience of local economies. By educating divers and dive travelers to engage in an ocean conscious lifestyle and enabling dive operators to run environmentally sustainable businesses, we can elevate the dive industry as an example of how to co-exist in harmony with people and planet.

The PADI network includes 128,000 dive professionals and 6,600 PADI Dive Operators in almost every corner of the globe. As we continue to grow and expand, we are committed to reducing our own organizational footprint while improving access to best practice conservation tools and educational resources that can be used by the industry to operate more sustainably and in balance with the ocean.

We believe that the dive supply chain (including dive travel, marine tourism, divers and dive operators) can all help build a more sustainable dive industry by reducing waste, reducing single-use plastic, and reducing and offseting our carbon footprint. We are committed to building the most sustainable dive industry possible by creating and supporting programs and opportunities that help divers and dive operators reduce their environmental impact.

Green Fins

Since 2018, PADI has worked in partnership with The Reef-World Foundation to realize the potential of the dive community as an example of how a global industry can successfully support people, planet and profit. By reducing the local direct and indirect pressures tourism puts on coral reefs, it helps make corals healthier and more resilient to other stresses such as the effects of climate change.

Pillar 3 – People & Humanity

Foster diversity and inclusion in the dive industry and support local communities

PADI Pillars of Change

The inclusive nature and diversity of diving is something we celebrate and honor. It is embedded in the ethos of our organization as PADI was founded on the core belief that the oceans should be accessible to all. We strive to create an environment of openness across our sector with a shared understanding that ‘underwater we all speak the same language.’  

To authentically advance our vision to establish balance between humanity and ocean is to acknowledge both the social and environmental impact and implications of our actions. We are committed to cultivating ever-present diversity, equality and inclusion across the dive industry while continuing to seek out new pathways for all to enjoy access to the ocean and to the transformational power of diving.  


The PADI Ambassadiver Program showcases the diversity of diving and inspires people around the world by providing a human connection to the sport and amplifying the stories of divers who inspire others to love and care for our ocean planet. These individuals elevate diving in their communities and across the planet, encouraging more people to pursue their passions or follow their dreams to seek adventure and save the ocean. They exemplify what it means to be a PADI Torchbearer, committed to exploring and protecting the ocean.

Community Grant Program

In order to better support and work collaboratively with local communities, PADI AWARE Foundation will launch a Community Grant Program in 2021, providing much-needed financial resources to PADI Dive Centers and Resorts for local ocean-protection initiatives and activities. 

Saving the ocean requires all of us acting together in thousands of ways on a local level – the grant program will serve as the cornerstone of all of PADI’s conservation work, directly addressing local community needs while advancing global policy goals tied to the United Nations Decade of Action. The grant exemplifies the AWARE Foundation’s mission to drive local action for global ocean conservation.

Women’s Dive Day

In 2014, PADI launched the first ever PADI Women’s Dive Day. Now in its seventh year, Women’s Dive Day has become the largest single day of diving in the world. PADI members have hosted thousands of events providing an astounding number of women the opportunity to take their first breath under water, decreasing the gender gap in diving and empowering more people everywhere to become explorers of the ocean planet.

Adaptive Techniques

PADI’s approach to diver education has always been inclusive; everyone who meets prerequisites is welcome. According to the World Health Organization, there are around one billion people on the planet who are living with some sort of disability. Becoming a PADI certified diver has helped veterans with PTSD and other life-altering injuries, Paralympians, individuals with spinal paralysis and countless others to find healing, transforming their lives above the surface as much as it does below. 

To support PADI members who were working with divers with disabilities, PADI created two courses that focus on increasing awareness of varying diver abilities and explore adaptive teaching techniques to apply when training and diving with physically and mentally challenged divers. These courses further expand instructor’s abilities to be student-centered and prescriptive in approach when adapting techniques to meet diver needs. PADI Pros learn to adapt course content to accommodate virtually any student

By harnessing the power and size of the PADI brand as a force for good that connects people to causes and actions that create social and environmental impact, we move towards a more balanced and resilient global ocean community.

PADI has always been proud of our deeper purpose and the role we play in making the world a better place. We will stand together now, as torchbearers, to cultivate awareness and stand up for a better world. It will take all of us working together to create a healthier, safer planet for all.

Join the Torchbearer community today at PADI.COM/ONEBILLION

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Picture of Adrian Stacey
Adrian Stacey
Scuba Diver ANZ Editor, Adrian Stacey, first learned to dive on the Great Barrier Reef over 24 years ago. Since then he has worked as a dive instructor and underwater photographer in various locations around the world including, Egypt, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Saba. He has now settled in Australia, back to where his love of diving first began.
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