Featured Interview - New Balance says its sneakers will leave zero carbon footprint by 2050 Maine Public Radio by Carol Bousquet
This story is part of our series “Climate Driven: A deep dive into Maine’s response, one county at a time.”
Published April 12, 2022 at 7:53 AM EDT
In this photo, taken Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, Nicole Sanborn stitches the upper section of a pair of athletic shoes designed for the military at a New Balance factory in Norridgewock, Maine
The World Bank says the fashion industry is responsible for about 10% of global emissions, leading some brands to take stock of their outsized carbon footprints.
New Balance Athletics operates three factories in Maine and has pledged to be net zero by 2050. The company’s factories churn out thousands of sneakers every day.
An MIT life cycle assessment estimates that producing just one pair of running shoes generates 30 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s because it’s an energy intensive process that uses cotton, leather and oil-dependent polyester. It also generates a lot of waste.