Salomon Sports is the latest firm to announce a significant commitment to sustainability, launching its new Play Minded Program, which it says reinforces its commitment to operate its business in a more sustainable manner.
As part of the program, the brand unveiled the concept for a new running shoe that can be fully recycled into a ski boot shell. The result of more than 18 months of research and development, the concept shoe is on display this week at the grand opening of Salomon’s newest and largest Experience Store in Munich, Germany. \
The Salomon Play Minded Program consists of four key areas, all with specific objectives – Protecting the Playground — the places where outdoor lovers practice sports; Producing more sustainable Toys — the Salomon products used to practice those sports; Educating the Players — the people who make up the communities of our outdoor sports and Caring for the Playmakers — the people around the world who create Salomon products
“Today’s outdoor sports participants expect us to make a positive impact on the world, and we have made great efforts in recent years to reduce our impact on the environment and we will continue to do so,” said Jean-Marc Pambet, President of Salomon.
“As a company, we have always prided ourselves on having a uniquely close relationship with our local sports communities. We haven’t always discussed our programs in the areas of sustainability, but we recognise that fans of our brand and our products are eager to understand the actions we are taking.”
Salomon has made several commitments in the areas outlined by the Play Minded Program. To reduce its impact on the environment, the company has pledged to reduce its overall carbon emissions by 30 per cent by the year 2030.
It says it will also eliminate perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) across all equipment categories by 2023. (PFCs will be non-existent in Salomon footwear by the fall of 2020, in gear by 2022 and in winter sports equipment and apparel by 2023.) By 2025, 70 per cent of the waste created by Salomon’s operations will be recycled or re-used and the environmental performance of every Salomon product will be visible to the consumer. Also by 2025, 100 per cent of top tier materials suppliers will have signed or otherwise demonstrated compliance with category-level Materials Compliance Programs and Restricted Substances Lists (RSLs).
The concept for a fully recyclable running shoe is the first step in Salomon’s commitment to have 100 per cent of its new products designed to one or several of the company’s circular economy principles by 2025.
A new recyclable concept shoe unveiled this week in Munich was developed at the company’s Annecy Design Center in the French Alps. The shoe provides a unique solution to footwear sustainability that extends the life-cycle of the materials used. It is made completely of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which can be ground down at the end of its life then combined with original material and used to construct an alpine ski boot shell.
Though it is a concept at this point, the shoe offers a glimpse into how Salomon may be able to tackle circular economy principles in the future across various product categories inside the brand. The company’s footwear team is working to implement elements of this concept in running footwear that will be available in 2021.
“We recognise that we have to do better for the environment by creating Salomon footwear that drastically reduces its impact on the planet,” said Guillaume Meyzenq, VP of Salomon Footwear. “By creating this concept shoe that can be recycled into a ski boot shell, we are showing that it is possible to find alternative materials to create performance footwear. It’s an exciting development that will help lead us to more sustainable footwear solutions in the future.”
The Salomon Play Minded Program is based on the simple belief that the more people understand and appreciate their outdoor surroundings and their impacts on it, the more they will value it and care for it. To foster that appreciation for the outdoors, Salomon will create specific content that educates and inspires followers to find responsible ways to play outside.
The brand will also award grants to a variety of organisations that Salomon athletes are involved in and continue to fund the Salomon Mountain Academy and the Salomon Foundation. The Foundation has been providing services to injured mountain professionals and competitors in need since 1999.
“As the brand that prides itself on encouraging and inspiring people to play outside, we want them to also play responsibly,” Pambet added. “That means being mindful of the environment, of course, but we also want to deliver knowledge that will help people play safely in the outdoors and pass that passion and wisdom about the outdoors on to others.”