Allbirds is on track to nearly zero out carbon emissions by 2030, thanks to its largest year-over-year emissions reduction to date.
The Bay Area company with new roots in Portland marked Earth Month with the launch of its latest “Flight Status” impact report, which showed that it leveraged 27 different business initiatives to achieved 60 percent of its 2025 science-based targets. The certified B Corp reduced its carbon footprint by 19 percent—from 8.76 kg CO₂e to 7.12 kg CO₂e—last year.
A product “carbon cost” added to customer receipt aims to increase awareness about the impacts of consumption, Allbirds said, building upon a 2020 initiative labeling products with their carbon footprint. In 2021, the company open-sourced its assessment and labeling methodology to promote industry-wide adoption. Earlier this spring, it unveiled its net-zero carbon M0.0nshot sneaker, and last week, the new SuperLight collection launched with Allbirds’ lowest-carbon foam to date.
“With our Flight Status, we want to show all of the work we do every day of the year when it comes to our commitment and journey towards zero carbon emissions—and we want to print it on our receipts for everyone to see,” head of sustainability Hana Kajimura said. “Real leadership in sustainability means following through on what you say you’re going to do. Taking small steps that add up to something big.”
Over the past year, Allbirds has focused on responsible material sourcing and energy efficiency. It launched new products made with regenerative wool, including the holiday Regen collection—shoes, a beanie and a scarf made with wool from ZQRX. It plans to use the material again this year in SuperLight products.
Allbirds has also partnered with New Zealand Merino and Made For Good, which provides farm-level traceability and emissions data, to develop a baseline for net emissions across all of the company’s suppliers. This will give the company insights into where, and how, it can reduce carbon impact moving forward, it said. Allbirds plans to source all of its wool from regenerative sources by 2025, and reduce or sequester 100 percent of on-farm emissions from the cultivation process during that timeframe as well.
Renewable materials have also played a role in cutting carbon, accounting for -0.25 kg CO2e of Allbirds’s overall per unit reduction of -1.64 kg CO2e. Transitioning from virgin to recycled nylon in wool fabrics, incorporating more recycled content into its sock liners across cellulosic styles, and reducing the weight of packaging contributed to these reductions, putting the company on track to achieve its 2025 science-based target of using 75 percent sustainably sourced, natural and recycled materials. Allbirds aims to slash the carbon footprint associated with raw material uptake by 25 percent, and reduce raw material usage by 25 percent over the next two years.
After pandemic supply chain disruptions ratcheted up air freight usage, Allbirds significantly increased ocean shipping to 96 percent during 2022—a 16 percent increase from 2020 that surpasses its 2025 goal by 1 percent. Responsible energy use accounted for a reduction of -0.93 kg CO2e of Allbirds’ overall per unit reduction of -1.64 kg CO2e.
The company continues to advocate for increased renewable energy usage across its operations, including in China facilities making rubber and molding foams. In Vietnam, where its primary factories are located, the company wants suppliers to use more renewable energy.
In addition to climate-related commitments, Allbirds has developed science-based goals surrounding fair labor, water consumption, chemistry, animal welfare, traceability and transparency. Allbirds said it has amped up its ability to collect audit data from factories and is sharing more details on facilities and workers, and plans to implement a more comprehensive environmental program across its supply chain.
“Sustainability has been a cornerstone of the business since we founded Allbirds, and it’s something our consumers and the industry continue to look to us to lead,” co-founder and co-CEO Tim Brown said. “To bring our carbon footprint to near zero, we have to continue driving this work forward.”
Brown went on to say that, “It’s not enough to do the work on our own—we need to inspire and empower the industry to follow suit in order to generate real change. That is why we’re committed to open-sourcing our toolkits and collaborating with other brands to join us.”