• Home
  • News
  • Business
  • Nike partners with Newlight Technologies to explore use of AirCarbon

Nike partners with Newlight Technologies to explore use of AirCarbon

By Rachel Douglass

27 Aug 2021

Business

Image: Nike

Material innovator Newlight Technologies has announced it will partner with Nike to look into the use of the biomaterial AirCarbon for the sports brands products.

As of right now, AirCarbon is used as a substitute for plastic and leather, as a carbon-negative alternative that can be melted down into a variety of forms, including solid shapes. The partnership will see Nike explore the use of the material in a variety of ways, contributing to the company’s goal to create products that are better for both the environment and athletes.

AirCarbon is an energy storage material made up of around 40 percent oxygen and 60 percent carbon from greenhouse gases. Its production involves the use of natural microorganisms that have the ability to eat air and greenhouse gases, converting them through their cells and into AirCarbon. SCS Global Services certified the material as carbon-negative.

Newlight CEO, Mark Herrema, said in a statement: “Our mission is change at scale, and there are few better partners in the world than Nike to help achieve that. We are excited to explore how AirCarbon can help Nike decarbonise its products and achieve its ambitious carbon-reduction goals.”

Image: Newlight Technologies, AirCarbon pellets and leather

The past year has seen Nike take a number of planet-friendly initiatives and product developments under its wing whilst also outlining an elaborate sustainability report, highlighting the company-wide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent. The report closely followed a new refurbished program, enabling customers to return Nike shoes to be either resold, donated or recycled.

“AirCarbon offers an opportunity to further reduce our impact on the planet,” said Nike’s chief sustainability officer, Noel Kinder. “Materials account for 70 percent of Nike’s total carbon footprint, and we’re accelerating our efforts and exploring new opportunities in this space because, in the race against climate change, we can’t wait for solutions, we have to work together to create them.”

In a study by Stand.earth, that graded companies on their efforts to tackle climate change, Nike came out second in a list of 47 fashion businesses assessed, scoring a C+ for its participation in sustainable initiatives. While there is still more to do, Nike proved its commitment as opposed to others like Prada, Hugo Boss and Uniqlo who all received an F in the report.