Swiss sports brand On today announces a move away from petroleum-based resources by creating a new foam material called CleanCloud™, made using carbon emissions as a raw material. On is the first company in the footwear industry to explore carbon emissions as a primary raw material for a shoe bottom unit, specifically EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam, that could also be used in other shoe parts and products in the future.
On is convinced that innovation is pivotal to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. CleanCloud™ is the result of four years of dedicated work, which began with finding the best possible partners. We are adopting a collaborative approach to overcome the challenges of connecting these technologies at commercial scale.
“It’s a win-win situation: we are capturing emissions before they pollute our atmosphere and are at the same time moving away from fossil-based materials,” explains Caspar Coppetti, Co-Founder and Executive Co-Chairman of On. “Innovation is at the heart of our brand, and after four years of intense research, we are very proud to announce this supply chain coalition with our world-class partners LanzaTech and Borealis.”
CleanCloud™ is the result of a partnership with some of the most innovative companies in biochemicals and plastics innovation, including LanzaTech and Borealis. LanzaTech is using a combination of cutting-edge genetic engineering, state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, and innovations in mechanical and chemical engineering to manufacture chemicals using a process that soaks up carbon rather than emitting it.
“We are showing the world what is possible when we rethink how we source, use and dispose of carbon,” says Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. “By converting pollution to products, we can see that someday everything in our daily lives will come from recycled carbon. We are excited to be on this journey with On and Borealis to bend the carbon curve, keep our skies blue, and create a sustainable future for all.”
Borealis is a leading provider of advanced, circular and renewable plastic solutions and essential in creating high-performance, easy-to-process EVA foam for CleanCloud™. This collaboration allows Borealis to further advance its journey in carbon and plastics circularity, and is fully in line with its EverMinds™ ambition.
Lucrèce Foufopoulos, Borealis Executive Vice President Polyolefins, Innovation & Circular Economy Solutions: “Borealis is thrilled to be part of the unique, first-of-its-kind CleanCloud™ initiative. With our creative partners On and LanzaTech, we are proud to co-create circularity in carbon, and decouple plastic from its reliance on fossil-feedstock. Through innovation and collaboration, we continue re-inventing for more sustainable living.”
This is how it works: Technology from LanzaTech captures carbon monoxide emitted from industrial sources like steel mills or emissions from landfill sites before being released into the atmosphere. Once captured, these emissions enter a patented fermentation process. Thanks to specially selected bacteria, the carbon rich gas ferments naturally and is converted to liquid ethanol by the bacteria. This natural fermentation process is similar to that of conventional alcohol production – e.g., beer brewing. The ethanol is then dehydrated to create ethylene, which is then polymerized by Borealis to become EVA (a copolymer of ethylene vinyl acetate) – the versatile and lightweight material that On starts working with to create a performance foam for shoes.
The overall goal is to exchange all bottom units from On shoes currently made from EVA with CleanCloud™. This includes the whole Cloud range, THE ROGER franchise collection and a part of the active lifestyle assortment.
Learn more about On’s sustainability journey in the “ON Impact Progress Report”.
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications,
Brand & Reputation
tel.: +43 1 22 400 772 (Vienna, Austria)
Chief Sustainability Officer
tel.: +1 (630) 347-8054 (US)
Head of Communications
tel.: +41 79 275 55 29 (Switzerland)
Borealis is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and a European market leader in base chemicals, fertilizers and the mechanical recycling of plastics. We leverage our polymers expertise and decades of experience to offer value adding, innovative and circular material solutions for key industries. In re-inventing for more sustainable living, we build on our commitment to safety, our people and excellence as we accelerate the transformation to a circular economy and expand our geographical footprint.
With head offices in Vienna, Austria, Borealis employs 6,900 employees and operates in over 120 countries. In 2020, Borealis generated EUR 6.8 billion in sales revenue and a net profit of EUR 589 million. OMV, the Austria-based international oil and gas company, owns 75% of Borealis, while the remaining 25% is owned by a holding company of the Abu-Dhabi based Mubadala. We supply services and products to customers around the globe through Borealis and two important joint ventures: Borouge (with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, or ADNOC, based in UAE); and Baystar™ (with TotalEnergies, based in the US).
LanzaTech harnesses the power of biology and big data to create climate-safe materials and fuels. With expertise in Synthetic biology, bioinformatics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning coupled with engineering, LanzaTech has created a platform that converts waste carbon into new everyday products that would otherwise come from virgin fossil resources. LanzaTech’s first commercial scale gas fermentation plant has produced over 27M gallons of ethanol which is the equivalent of keeping over 130,000 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. A second faclity is operating in China, with additional plants under construction globally. LanzaTech is based in Illinois, USA and employs more than 200 people. Further information is available at www.lanzatech.com.
On was born in the Swiss Alps with one goal: to revolutionize the sensation of running by empowering all to run on clouds. Eleven years after market launch, On delivers industry-disrupting innovation in premium footwear, apparel, and accessories for high-performance running, outdoor, and all-day activities. Fueled by customer recommendation, On’s award-winning CloudTec® innovation, purposeful design, and groundbreaking strides in sportswear’s circular economy have attracted a fast-growing global fan base — inspiring humans to explore, discover and dream on.
On is present in more than 60 countries globally and engages with a digital community on www.on-running.com.
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Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Brand & Reputation
+43 1 22 400 772