The running brand’s pronounced goal comes amid a steady stream of net zero announcements. Just this month, both Ralph Lauren and Burberry unveiled plans to achieve net zero by 2040. FedEx set its 2040 net zero target in March. Back in November, the British Retail Consortium released a plan—developed by companies like Amazon, TJX Europe and Ikea and supported by 63 in total—to take the U.K. retail industry to net zero by that same year.
Brooks said it will achieve its target of net zero carbon emissions by first reducing emissions using targets already validated by the United Nations Global Compact-aligned Science Based Targets initiative. Key strategies, it said, include converting factories to renewable electricity, switching textile yarns to low-impact dyeing processes and sourcing materials with recycled content.
“We believe that the run can change everything: your day, your life and even the world. But to make those benefits available to all, we need to participate on a global scale,” David Kemp, senior manager of corporate responsibility at Brooks Running, said in a statement. “We’ve charted our program to support United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and joined The Climate Pledge, because partnerships will be critical to achieving our ambitious goals.”
Brooks—in partnership with the certified B Corp ClimateCare—also plans to purchase “high-quality” carbon credits from groups that avoid or reduce carbon emissions. Brooks said it will select these carbon-offset projects according to “strict criteria.” Each, it added, will provide additional environmental and social benefits, including a focus on improving air quality and advancing health and well-being.
The Seattle-based company plans to dive right into its net zero plans by offsetting emissions for the latest iteration of its highest-volume style, the Ghost. Slated to release Thursday, the Ghost 14 will represent the brand’s first carbon-neutral product, it said.
Its nearer term plans also include an effort to reduce the usage of non-renewable resources by incorporating more “sustainable materials.” At the same time, Brooks said it is making a push to reduce the waste associated with manufacturing, with the goal of sending zero footwear manufacturing waste to the landfill, incinerator or environment by 2025.
Next year, Brooks plans to launch a take-back program, something it said “will lay the groundwork for a fully circular shoe in the years to come.” By 2023, it expects to move to 100 percent recycled polyester in footwear and new apparel materials.