New Balance Announces Range of Initiatives in Holistic Commitment to Sustainability

  • 09-APR-2021

New Balance Announces Range of Initiatives in Holistic Commitment to Sustainability

Athletic leader seeks to address broad climate impacts through concrete brand action and strategic alliances

Boston, MA – April 9, 2021 – Today, global athletic leader New Balance announced a range of strategic alliances designed to help support their climate goals and create a healthier planet.

For years, New Balance has been building a strong foundation of sustainability practices through its Responsible Leadership program and is proud to announce a set of bold actions and alliances targeting various aspects of climate change. From pursuing renewable energy across its supply chain to building out its portfolio of environmentally preferred materials, New Balance is continuously seeking change that creates both short term and long-term impact.

“Sustainability has always been a top priority for New Balance and our commitment to fostering a healthier planet has never been stronger,” said John Stokes, New Balance Head of Global Sustainability. “We need to act with urgency, and our work is further strengthened by like-minded alliances that help extend our reach. Creating and sustaining a healthier planet requires a collective effort and we couldn’t be more excited for the work ahead with some truly incredible individuals and organizations by our side.”

Responsible Leadership

As part of its overarching Responsible Leadership strategy, New Balance is moving toward a low carbon future with a holistic set of goals between now and 2030:

  • Renewable Energy: New Balance will use 100% renewable electricity across its global operations by 2025 and aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030 as a signatory of the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.
  • Longevity and circularity: New Balance aims to send zero waste to landfill from its footwear factories by 2025, and the brand is launching an apparel repair pilot in 2021 as part of their journey to address post-consumer waste and establish greater levels of circularity.
  • Lower carbon materials: Polyester and leather are the two largest drivers of climate impact for New Balance. As a first step toward lowering those impacts, the brand will source 50% recycled polyester and 100% preferred leather by 2025.
  • Advocacy and conservation: In coordination with 1% for the Planet, through 2021, New Balance will donate 1% of MSRP from all Fresh Foam Hierro v6 sold in the U.S. to 1% for the Planet to benefit organizations working on climate change and public lands. More info: onepercentfortheplanet.org
  • Resilience: To support women’s empowerment and foster greater levels of community stability and resilience, New Balance is working toward 100% of women in their footwear factories to benefit from education and skills courses by 2025.

GIZ

Throughout 2021, New Balance is working closely with the GIZ Energy Support Program (ESP) to improve energy efficiency within their supply chain and to develop rooftop solar energy projects. New Balance was selected as a key partner to enroll their Vietnam footwear suppliers into the Small Energy Efficiency Group (SEEG) of ESP that provides energy training to factory teams, enabling them to identify meaningful energy saving opportunities. New Balance is also working with GIZ’s Project Development Programme (PDP) to assess rooftop solar potential across some of their most strategic suppliers and then develop projects where they are found to be competitive with conventional energy supply.

Renewal Workshop

One of the most sustainable products is one that already exists. New Balance recently began a new relationship with The Renewal Workshop, a leading provider of circular solutions for apparel and textile brands. Together, New Balance and The Renewal Workshop will pilot an apparel repair program this summer and conduct a training workshop to help educate designers how to intentionally design future apparel for repairability and garment recycling. The goal is to reduce waste and restore value, making the planet healthier by making apparel new again.

New Balance’s Green Leaf Icon

The New Balance green leaf icon identifies apparel products that meet its environmentally preferred material adoption standards. New Balance garments that carry the green leaf icon are made with 50% or more environmentally preferred materials, such as recycled or organic content. Choosing to use environmentally preferred fibers and materials is the biggest and most immediate way the brand can affect its environmental impacts. New Balance is already making progress toward its new goals and plans to expand the offering, significantly increasing the number of products and product categories with environmentally preferred materials in the upcoming months and years.

“Our efforts to grow our environmentally preferred material portfolio is squarely focused on driving systemic change where it will have the greatest impact, step by step, ingredient by ingredient, season after season,” says Cynthia Maletz, Sr. Manager, Product Creation Platforms for New Balance. “The green leaf standard lets us capture that work in an understandable way for the consumer and has really helped build momentum within the brand and provides greater focus across business units.”

New Balance x Jaden Smith Vision Racer ReWorked

New Balance is further weaving sustainability into its DNA through its continued collaboration with activist and artist Jaden Smith. On April 23, 2021, New Balance and Jaden will release the Vision Racer ReWorked, the latest Vision Racer and the first of its kind in this line to be crafted with Spinnex, a partially recycled fiber that incorporates at least 30% factory textile waste. The Vision Racer Reworked midsole contains a 5% EVA regrind, alleviating a potential waste stream. The material used in the upper and the tongue contains 74% Spinnex fiber, 16% polyester and 10% Spandex. New Balance’s Spinnex material incorporates factory waste cut offs into a new usable material.

Whether it’s starting JUST water or collaborating with New Balance - I’m energetically interested in bringing more sustainable options and features into everyday lifestyle items and everyday culture,” says Smith. “These items act as a lens into ways more people can participate in better global health with simple choices while learning and becoming smarter, more aware of the solutions that are out there. We just need to demand them and choose them.”

New Balance and 1% for the Planet

Finally, New Balance is joining forces with the environmental non-profit organization 1% for the Planet, which is a global movement that inspires businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions through annual membership and everyday actions. Through 2021, New Balance will donate 1% of MSRP from all Fresh Foam Hierro v6 sneakers sold in the U.S. to 1% for the Planet to benefit organizations working on climate change and protecting public lands. To learn more about 1% for the Planet, visit onepercentfortheplanet.org.

New Balance is the first major athletic footwear brand join with 1% for the Planet on a product-line partnership. The Hierro v6, available starting April 15, 2021, features recycled tongue foam, a cork tongue badge, and leverages a “no piece left behind” design approach that looks to minimize waste by using cutoff waste to create nested small components, like the heel tab.

"We're thrilled to welcome global athletic leader New Balance into the 1% for the Planet network,” says Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet. “New Balance is taking an important step in their sustainability journey by financially supporting organizations working on climate change and public lands and by underscoring the need to take action at this pivotal moment in our planet’s history.”

To learn more about New Balance’s commitment to sustainability and the brand’s Responsible Leadership efforts, visit newbalance.com.

About New Balance

New Balance Athletics, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. Manufactured in the U.S. for more than 75 years and representing a limited portion of our U.S. sales, New Balance MADE U.S. is a premium collection that contains a domestic value of 70% or greater. New Balance owns and operates four factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 7,000 associates around the globe and in 2020 reported worldwide sales of $3.3 billion. To learn more about New Balance, please visit www.newbalance.com and for the latest press information please visit http://newbalance.newsmarket.com.

About GIZ

Since 2013, energy has become one of the priorities of the Vietnamese-German cooperation, establishing the GIZ Energy Support Programme. The Programme is a partnership between Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) and German Government, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It aims to contribute to Vietnam's emissions reduction strategy and green growth strategy by improving the existing regulatory framework for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency to foster private sector investment and by increasing the professional and organizational capacities of key institutions and stakeholders. Activities which are carried out in all the projects of the Programme are under one of three action areas: Legal and Regulatory Framework, Capacity Development, and Technology Cooperation.

Working closely with the MOIT, the Programme is supporting Vietnam to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

About The Renewal Workshop

The Renewal Workshop is the leading provider of circular solutions for apparel and textile brands. Our proprietary Renewal System takes discarded apparel and textiles and turns them into Renewed Products, upcycling materials or feedstock for recycling. We are helping brands reduce their negative environmental impacts and expand their businesses by adopting circular practices. We offer Apparel and Textile Renewal, Sales Channel Management for Renewed Products, Circular Mapping, Data Collection and Textile Recycling R&D. The Renewal Workshop operates a zero-waste circular system that recovers value out of what has already been created as a way of serving customers, partners, and planet.

About 1% for the Planet

1% for the Planet is a global organization that exists to ensure our planet and future generations thrive. We inspire businesses and individuals to support environmental nonprofits through membership and everyday actions. We make environmental giving easy and effective through partnership advising, impact storytelling and third-party certification.

Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, our Business Members and Individual Members have given hundreds of millions of dollars to our approved Nonprofit Partners to date. Today, 1% for the Planet’s global network consists of thousands of businesses, individuals and environmental nonprofits working toward a better future for all. 

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