Connect with us

News

You’re Tracking Miles. This Brand Is Tracking Sustainability Goals.

Published

on

“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote”} }”>

Avid runners and hikers know how to put their shoes to work. It’s common for high-mileage dynamos to retire multiple pairs of sneakers each year. Exercise science experts recommend replacing running shoes every 300 to 500 miles to ensure your muscles and joints are properly supported while you run. While that new-shoe feeling is first class, it comes at a cost—more waste generated and more energy needed to make new materials and new products. Sneaker giant New Balance isn’t willing to accept this waste as just a necessary reality of the industry. Instead, the company has set some admirable sustainability goals to address the ways its products contribute to the problem.

Sustainability isn’t a new priority for New Balance; the company has long prioritized efforts to be more environmentally responsible. But the New Balance team is keenly aware of the current climate change reality. “We have an extremely small window of time to take action,” says John Stokes, the company’s director of sustainability. “It depends on what we do in the next seven to eight years. The time is now, and we literally can’t act fast enough.”

Stokes heads up an internal department that focuses on understanding how the business’s decisions affect much more than just the bottom line. From this understanding, the team develops strategies for more sustainable business practices and frequently reassesses what efforts will have the most impact.

Supporting Entities with an Environmental Focus

Environmental conservation and advocacy is a key part of the sustainability mission at New Balance. The company extends its reach by working with 1% for the Planet, a global network of businesses pledging to give 1 percent of gross sales to environmentally focused entities.

New Balance running shoes in bright green
Avid runners and hikers know how to put their shoes to work. It’s common for high-mileage dynamos to retire multiple pairs of sneakers each year. (Photo: New Balance)

For New Balance, that means 1 percent of MSRP from every sale of the Fresh Foam X Hierro series (the Hierro v7, Hierro Mid, and Hierro v7 GTX) in the United States is donated to organizations focused on climate advocacy and protecting public lands, including Protect Our Winters and the Trust for Public Land.

The Hierro sneakers were a natural fit for this relationship as they are a beloved trail shoe for many outdoor enthusiasts. Stokes and his team hope to add more shoes and apparel to this program in the coming years.

 Reducing Carbon Footprint

Carbon emissions are a key metric when it comes to evaluating sustainability. Most of New Balance’s carbon footprint can be attributed to three things: materials used to make products, energy consumption in factories, and transportation of products from factory to market. “There’s really no singular aspect that makes a product more sustainable,” Stokes says. “It’s pretty holistic, and we’re trying to address all of those major impact areas.” New Balance had previously committed to cutting its carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, but in 2021, the company signed on to the Business Ambition for 1.5C, and it recently submitted an even more aggressive target that is 1.5C-aligned. The company also has some specific goals it plans to reach by 2025, all of which contribute to its overall climate goals:

  • Materials: Source 100 percent preferred cotton, 100 percent preferred leather, and 50 percent recycled polyester. Already, New Balance is incorporating leather sourced from a verified regenerative ranch in California into some of its products, and regenerative supply chains for split suede are in the works. Regenerative agriculture is an impactful way to reach long-term sustainability goals through the ongoing care and protection of the ecosystem. 
  • Waste: Achieve zero waste to landfill in all footwear factories, and eliminate the use and discharge of hazardous chemicals. Most of a product’s impact—including waste—is determined at the design phase, Stokes says, so New Balance focuses on smart, efficient design and dependable construction so its products last as long as possible. Stokes and his team are rolling out a zero-waste design guide, which teaches product designers how to use the company’s “no piece left behind” design approach and other strategies to reduce the amount of waste that is “designed into” a shoe from the beginning. 
  • Energy: Power all owned operations with 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025. 
A pair of New Balance running shoes
Design and Innovation teams are looking at ways to make the construction and materials of New Balance shoes more recycling-friendly in the future. (Photo: New Balance)

The whole company is in on this sustainability mission. “There’s more energy and interest right now than ever before,” Stokes says.

Extending the Life of Your Running Shoes

New Balance demonstrates the value of taking a sustainability idea and running with it. In addition to developing more sustainable design and production practices, New Balance is pushing the limits of how long a running shoe can truly last. The company is currently testing cleaning and repair services in the UK and Japan. The hope is that if these services are scalable, they can help to extend the life of New Balance shoes worldwide. Until then, New Balance is adding more at-home care instructions to its website to help you maintain your shoes. Yes, you’ll still need to replace your running shoes when the old ones wear out, but taking good care of your shoes can extend their life. The most sustainable shoe is one that already exists. Stokes also suggests we rethink the paradigm that shoes only last a certain number of miles. That number will vary for everyone—If your shoes are still working for you, keep using them. 

While there’s currently no way to recycle New Balance sneakers, the possibility is certainly on Stokes’s radar. Design and Innovation teams are looking at ways to make the construction and materials of New Balance shoes more recycling-friendly in the future. 


Independent since 1906, New Balance empowers people through sport and craftsmanship to create positive change in communities around the world.

Continue Reading

Recent News

Beacon 23 Season 2 Beacon 23 Season 2
Entertainment5 hours ago

Beacon 23 Season 2: Release Date, Episode Schedule, Cast, and Story Revealed

Waiting for the engaging sci-fi watch Beacon 23 season 2? We understand your curiosity! In addition to being a sci-fi,...

Interview With The Vampire Season 2 Release Date Interview With The Vampire Season 2 Release Date
Entertainment5 hours ago

Interview With The Vampire Season 2: Release Date, Cast, and Story Revealed

Interview with the Vampire is recently hyped up due to its engaging storyline. The show is dramatic in nature and...

Gal Gadot’s Net Worth Gal Gadot’s Net Worth
Celebrity5 hours ago

What Is Gal Gadot’s Net Worth?

Gal Gadot is a well-known Israeli actress and model, who has been fairly popular and has garnered fame for herself...

The Ones Who Live Season 2 Release Date The Ones Who Live Season 2 Release Date
Entertainment5 hours ago

Everything We Know About The Ones Who Live Season 2

The Ones Who Live is a post-apocalyptic horror show that’s been gaining the attention of the audience. The continuation of...

Alienware Aurora 2019 Alienware Aurora 2019
Tech11 hours ago

Alienware Aurora 2019 (Gaming PC For Best Buy 2023)

Are you a gaming geek who has been waiting to get your hands on the best gaming setup? Then wait...

CNC Machining CNC Machining
Tech11 hours ago

CNC Machining: An Advanced Way To Prototyping

In today’s rapid technological times, when machines have been produced to cater to all industries sweepingly, the device of CNC...

Fake ID Fake ID
Tech11 hours ago

10 Best Fake ID Websites 2024

For quite some decades now, the world of the internet has advanced with technology and cyber hacks. People from all...

Discord Alternatives Discord Alternatives
Tech11 hours ago

5 Best Alternatives Of Discord In 2023

Voice and text applications are simply phenomenal for connecting with a team of professionals or even for having fun with...

Sites Like Reddit Sites Like Reddit
Tech11 hours ago

7 Best Sites Like Reddit That Everyone Should Check Out

We know the reason you’re here. Looking for platforms similar to Reddit? We’ve got your back. Reddit is a fantastic...

APAP Login APAP Login
Tech11 hours ago

APAP Login: Everything You Need To Know

In these times when obesity and heart diseases are on the rise, many conditions retrospectively affect people’s brains and bodies....