At Brooks, we believe climate change demands urgent and universal action. We live, work, and run as part of a global community. The planet is our home, and because more than 150 million people worldwide run outside, it’s critical that we take care of it.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the leading climate scientists from across the globe agree that the world must take immediate, rapid, and large-scale actions to cut global carbon emissions in half by 2030. We must also reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 to limit the temperature rise to 1.5oC and avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change.
We are taking a science-backed approach to address climate change and align efforts across our business to reduce carbon emissions. This includes product design, materialization, manufacturing, and our global supply chain.
We have developed ambitious, science-based carbon emissions reduction targets that were established using best practices and guidance from the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi). These targets were reviewed by the SBTi and approved to be in line with the Paris Agreement, with our Scope 1 and 2 target determined to be in line with a 1.5oC trajectory — the most ambitious designation available through the SBTi process and consistent with reductions required to keep warming to 1.5oC. Our Scope 3 target was also determined by SBTi to exceed the minimum ambition defined by the Absolute Contraction approach and is therefore also considered ambitious.
A critical first step toward taking action to reduce carbon emissions and achieve our SBTs is to understand the sources of our carbon emissions. We track and disclose our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the leading greenhouse gas accounting standard for companies. We worked with the global consultancy Quantis International to calculate our 2018 baseline year, and we use their bespoke greenhouse gas calculation tool to calculate our annual footprint.
Our climate roadmap
Using the insights from our GHG footprint, we developed a climate roadmap that identifies strategies to reduce carbon emissions across our value chain. These strategies were developed through a series of workshops in collaboration with our climate consultant, Quantis International. These included key stakeholders across our organization, including product design and development, sourcing, and distribution teams. Each strategy identified in the workshops was modeled to calculate their carbon emissions reduction potentials, to provide us with clear paths to a reduction of our carbon emissions and an achievement of our SBT commitments.
Key strategies in our approach to reduce carbon emissions:
Reduce Scope 2 emissions
Learn more about some of these strategies in our latest CR report, and visit our sustainable consumption page for commitments and strategies that also play a key role in achieving our carbon emissions reduction commitments.
We continually evaluate our climate roadmap knowing that additional strategies will be necessary to achieve our SBT commitments. In addition to analyzing our GHG footprint, we also utilize Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a tool to identify new opportunities to reduce carbon emissions. Given that most of our total carbon emissions come from the materials used in our product, the LCA plays a key role in evolving our climate roadmap. Learn more about our LCA of the Ghost 14.
Brooks Global Headquarters
Brooks HQ is certified LEED Platinum and uses 79% less energy than a typical office building. HQ is also the first commercially developed building to complete Seattle’s Deep Green Pilot Program by meeting and surpassing rigorous sustainability benchmarks during a 12-month period. Among other sustainable building goals, the program requires energy and water usage to be curbed by 75% and 50% of captured rainwater to be reused, in contrast to an average office building.
Our Climate commitments extend to climate science's long-term target of net zero carbon emissions. We recognize that the sooner the world can achieve net zero carbon emissions, the greater the chance of curbing global temperature rise above 1.5°C. That's why we've committed to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040 — 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.
Partnerships and global action will be critical to achieve our ambitious climate commitments. Therefore, in 2020, Brooks became a signatory of The Climate Pledge, co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism. Brooks was the first athletic brand and among the first 40 companies in the world to sign the commitment to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early.
Our path to net zero
How we will achieve net zero carbon emissions:
- Prioritize carbon emissions reductions in line with climate science, as outlined in our climate roadmap
- Continue carbon emission reductions beyond 2030
- Neutralize any remaining carbon emissions that we have not reduced through high quality carbon offsets
As we move along our climate roadmap, we recognize that we will continue to emit carbon emissions. To address this, we will compensate for residual carbon emissions that we have not yet reduced with carbon offsets, which will make an immediate impact to help address climate change.
We’re taking a product-by-product approach to neutralize remaining carbon emissions. We started in 2021 with our highest-volume style — the Ghost 14 — as our first carbon-neutral product, and we will incrementally add more footwear and apparel styles to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
Carbon offsets come from projects that avoid or prevent carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere, or remove carbon emissions already in the atmosphere. This is achieved through actions like renewable energy investment, reduction of reliance on fossil fuel energy, new forest growth, and land use change.
How we choose carbon offset projects
Not all offset projects are equal. Our approach to ensure quality includes purchasing carbon credits from projects that meet leading international standards within the voluntary carbon offset market (Verra, Gold Standard, ACR, and others), which ensures that carbon credits are additional, permanent, quantifiable, and verifiable.
Additionally, we carefully selected our carbon offsetting partner, ClimateCare, because they go the extra mile, undertaking additional due diligence beyond these climate science standards to manage potential risks and maintain quality.
Finally, we prioritize projects that align with climate science and lead to clear social and environmental impacts, such as improving air quality, health, and well-being.
We currently purchase carbon credits from projects that avoid carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere. We believe this has an immediate impact on climate change. Our long-term approach to achieve net zero carbon emissions is to transition to purchasing carbon credits from projects that permanently remove and store carbon emissions from the atmosphere.
Carbon offsets for the Ghost
In partnership with ClimateCare, we selected four projects that meet our strict criteria and purchased enough credits from these projects to compensate for the carbon emissions from each pair of the Ghost 14 that we produce.
Our portfolio includes projects from the U.S., where Brooks is headquartered and a majority of our product is sold, and other countries with Brooks employees where some of our product and materials are manufactured. Each of these projects provides additional environmental and social benefits — including a focus on improving air quality and advancing health and well-being for all.
Crow Lake wind farm, U.S.
Overview: A large-scale, co-op-owned wind farm set across 14,500 hectares that generates low-carbon electricity. The 108 wind turbines generate renewable energy that provides electricity to 2.8 million customers.
Standard: Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS)
Doe Mountain improved forest management, U.S.
Overview: 8,600 acres of privately owned forest in the northeastern corner of Tennessee, purchased to create a better and more sustainable forest that can support healthy wildlife and be enjoyed by recreationists for many years to come. Without carbon finance, alternative sources of income could be silvicultural practices, or sale for intensive management or development.
Standard: American Carbon Registry (ACR)
Wenchang biogas, China
Overview: This project supports farmers in rural China as they build and maintain household biogas digesters, which replace traditional coal-burning. The change enables long-term access to a source of renewable, clean fuel for heat and cooking.
Standard: Gold Standard (GS)
Gyapa stoves project, Ghana
Overview: The Gyapa is an efficient cookstove that replaces traditional cookstoves or open fires used for cooking and heating. The Gyapa cookstove requires 46% less fuel, generates less smoke, and cooks food more quickly, cutting carbon emissions and exposure to toxic fumes.
Standard: Gold Standard (GS)
Engaging in climate action: