Running towards a better tomorrow

After a year and a half of event cancellations due to COVID-19, runners are filled with gratitude (and pasta) as organized races come back. With the NYC Marathon happening this weekend, celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Cassandra reporting a 65% increase in MapMyRun app users, the elevated importance of running will even outpace the pandemic. Toe the line with us as we highlight the running industry and its recent commitment to tackle the climate crisis.


Running brand Brooks has announced their 2030 planet strategy with the belief that “running can change everything: your day, your life and even the world.” This year, Brooks launched their first carbon-neutral running shoe and created plans for a take-back program in 2022, which will help move them towards a fully circular shoe production. They even plan on “purchase high-quality carbon credits” to offset brand emissions and provide additional environmental and social benefits. Showing just how important it is to walk the walk, Brooks’ planet strategy includes both immediate and long-term action that will benefit everyone.


Running is already good for mental and physical health–but now, thanks to plogging, sustainability can be added to the running list of benefits. Stemming from Sweden, Plogging is a mix of jogging and plocka up (the Swedish term for pick up). Last month, the popular Swedish outdoor brand Fjällräven kicked off their U.S. in-store Nordstrom installation with two outdoor plogging events. As e-commerce continues to reign king, in-store events coupling brand experience with a purpose (like climate action) will remain necessary to get consumers in the door.


The end of a race always looks like a sustainable murder scene, with thousands of cups overflowing trash cans and covering the ground. While not the most damaging sustainable issue of our time (looking at you fossil fuel), sports organizations are recognizing the “influence of sports'' and its power to shape “local community.” Now, the Council for Responsible Sports is rewriting race norms by updating their sustainability standards to include practices like mandated formal plans to reduce the environmental impact of events. Highlighting how straight forweard a first sustainable step can be–race committees are betting these sustainable changes will have runners sprinting towards their next events.