adidas and Allbirds run fast to develop carbon-neutral shoe

CO2 emitted by the footwear industry annually is the same as the energy to power 80 million homes

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adidas and Allbirds have joined forces to develop a sports performance shoe with the lowest carbon footprint ever recorded.

The footwear giants will work on a collaborative project to accelerate solutions to reduce the 700 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted by the footwear industry annually, which is equivalent to the energy use of 80 million homes!

The collaboration will explore innovations across the entire supply chain, from material choices to manufacturing facilities and transportation methods which utilise renewable energy and fuels.

The project is dedicated to creating an athletic shoe that will meet adidas’ performance standards and its carbon footprint will be analysed with Allbirds’ life cycle assessment tool, which measures carbon emissions.

James Carnes, Vice President of adidas Brand Strategy, said: “Our brands don’t want to just participate in the sustainability conversation, we want to continue being catalysts and creators of substantial improvement.”

Tim Brown, co-CEO of Allbirds, commented: “Whether we realise it or not this is a race that we are all running together as a planet and it is one that trumps the day-to-day competition of individual companies.”

Currently, the carbon footprint of a typical pair of running shoes made of synthetic materials is between 11.3 and 16.7kg of carbon dioxide.