Cushion, responsiveness, and sustainability — the Ghost 14 has it all
July 1, 2021|By Brooks Staff
This fan-favorite carbon neutral running shoe is helping Brooks down a science-backed path to net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
Our work towards a healthier planet
We love that sweet, sweet oxygen we breathe on the run, so we owe it to the planet to minimize the emissions we produce in manufacturing our shoes and gear. At Brooks, we believe climate change demands urgent and universal action. We are committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040 — ten years ahead of the goal set by The Paris Agreement.
To achieve this ambitious goal, we first prioritize reducing our carbon emissions by converting materials in our product to recycled alternatives, using low impact dyeing processes, and sourcing materials and our product from factories that use renewable energy. We then compensate for the emissions we have not yet reduced by purchasing carbon offsets.
As we move along this path, we recognize we will continue to emit carbon emissions and we hold ourselves responsible to address this impact.
What does CO₂e mean?
CO₂e or carbon dioxide equivalent, is a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints. This allows us to report on all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) as a single number.
Impact of the Ghost 14
The Ghost 14 is our first carbon neutral product.
The carbon emissions of the Ghost 14 are 10.34 kg CO₂eq. To understand this impact, we performed a life cycle impact assessment utilizing the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology, the current standard of the European Commission. The carbon impact includes production of materials, assembly of product, packaging and distribution, and end-of-life of the Ghost 14.
Loved by runners for its smooth ride, the Ghost is all about balance, but what makes the Ghost 14 special is its even lighter environmental footprint. Our efforts to make the Ghost 14 carbon neutral started with reducing its carbon emissions. Almost all upper textiles have now been converted to contain a minimum of 30% recycled polyester, and many are 100% recycled polyester — including the sock liner top cloth, tongue lining, toe box reinforcement, and more.
We then compensate for the remaining carbon emissions we have not yet been able to reduce with the purchase of carbon offsets to make an immediate impact to help address climate change.
So what are carbon offsets?
Carbon offsets come from projects that avoid, remove, or reduce carbon from the atmosphere through actions like renewable energy investments, reduction of our reliance on fossil fuel energy, new forest growth, and land use change.
At Brooks, we’ll purchase carbon offsets from projects that meet strict criteria for making a meaningful difference in slowing climate change. Our approach to ensure quality includes purchasing offsets that meet the requirements of voluntary carbon market standards (VERA, Gold Standard, and others). We will compensate the carbon emissions of the Ghost 14 by purchasing enough high-quality, additional, permanent, quantifiable, verifiable, and socially-beneficial offsets. Our partners undertake additional due diligence beyond these standards to manage potential risks and maintain quality. Additionally, we prioritize projects that align with climate science, and lead to clear social and environmental co-benefits.
Here’s how it works:
Think of a set of scales. First, add a pair of Ghosts to one of the scales. That pair represents all carbon emissions from a Ghost 14: materials, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, and end-of-life. Then, start to tip the scale by reducing carbon emissions. For example, we focus on converting traditional materials to recycled alternatives that have lower carbon emissions. Finally, we balance the scale with carbon offsets.
At Brooks, we’ve started with our highest-volume style, the Ghost 14, to make a meaningful difference to address climate change now. This commitment is ongoing, so when the Ghost 15, 16, and beyond hit stores, we’ll continue to make the Ghost a carbon neutral shoe through carbon offsets and efforts to reduce our emissions.
Want to learn more about our work toward zero carbon emissions? Visit our Planet Path to explore more about our programs and efforts.
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