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How is offsetting 40 years of carbon

In order to produce a lot of specialist items, the sports goods industry uses a lot of specialist materials. Yet it’s also one that is seeing more emphasis from its consumers on sustainability and combining these two factors is quite a challenge.

Rising to this challenge is what online running shoes, running clothing and outdoor gear retailer has pledged to do by offsetting all the carbon emissions it has generated directly since the company’s founding 40 years ago.

The move coincides with the retailer celebrating its 40th anniversary and supports a previously stated commitment of becoming the world’s most sustainable running equipment retailer by 2025.

Click here to view all coverage about offers customers more than 17,000 products from 150 global running and outdoor brands. From a running perspective, these include Asics, Nike, Adidas, Hoka and New Balance while in terms of outdoor, they include Haglöfs, Montane, Rab and Patagonia.

Driving’s goal of achieving this ambitious pledge is its continually evolving ‘Leave No Footprints’ sustainability strategy.

Developed in conjunction with consultancy, Ape, this involves a full-impact assessment of the business to calculate the size and composition of its carbon footprint. This will support the company in continually identifying and implementing more sustainable practices. managing director, Brett Bannister, explains: “We were founded at a time when very few people knew what a carbon footprint was. Now that everyone does, and now that we want to be the world’s most sustainable running equipment retailer, we must continuously improve every aspect of our business to achieve that goal.”

Bannister continues: “We have undertaken to understand, monitor and minimise our environmental footprint, including that of our supply chain and suppliers. We are pleased by what we have achieved
so far but also know there is a long way to go. We are not going to stand still and will keep up the pace on our sustainability journey for the benefit of everyone.”

The effectiveness of the Leave No Footprints strategy was first felt in April 2021, when the company achieved carbon-neutral status.

The next big step in’s sustainability journey was exploring carbon offsetting, starting with emissions from heating, lighting and powering the business since it was founded and the previous two years of national and international distribution activities.

To do this, the brand collaborated with Yorkshire-based woodland regenerative project ‘Make it Wild’, which is replanting native woodlands that are guaranteed to grow for at least 30 years.

In 2021, launched its first sustainable store. This sees the retailer working with brand partners to identify products that have a lower environmental impact.’s store features apparel and footwear throughout that is environmentally conscious.

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This company profile was originally featured in the 2023 Global Sports Sector report, which includes 57 pages of market-leading research into the global sports goods sector and 11 company profiles including: Asics, Camping World, Garmin, Gymshark, MyProtein and The North Face.

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