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Impact Progress Report 2021

High performance with the lowest possible footprint. For our planet and our people: The Impact Progress Report 2021 is your update on our sustainability mission.


On was born among the Swiss Alps. The mountains have been our testing ground and source of inspiration since the very beginning. It’s because nature plays such a pivotal role in the culture of On, and in our lives, that we’re determined to protect it. 


We’ve always been committed to taking responsibility for our environmental and social impact. Since On was founded over a decade ago, the challenges facing our planet’s ecosystems have become ever-more apparent. As On has grown, so too has our impact – and our responsibility to act. We’re used to working quickly, and we’re acutely aware that the need for action has never been more urgent.



We are now pleased to publicly share the actions we are taking to reduce our impact in our Impact Progress Report 2021. This latest report provides an update on the work we did in 2021, shines a light on progress made in 2022 so far, and reveals our revised sustainability mission. As you’ll see in the document, we’ve taken further steps toward sustainability, equity, fairness and inclusion. We’re making good progress towards reaching our ambitious targets, and in several cases have already reached our goal.


We’re delighted to be improving ahead of schedule, although we recognize that, when it comes to our planet and people, even fast will never be fast enough.



A massive thank-you goes to the On teams around the world who have delivered this progress in challenging times through a global pandemic. We’ve still got a long journey ahead of us. And there will be more challenges along the way.


In many cases, it’s not just On that’s tackling these challenges, but our entire industry, and other industries too. That’s why we are pioneering sustainable, responsible innovations and solutions across every aspect of our business – from our products and operations to our people and places. We remain resolute that innovation is the key to achieving our sustainability mission and securing a better future for our planet. 



Our mission


At On, it’s not just about the destination, but how we get there. That’s why our sustainability mission is as much about increasing our positive social impact as it is about reducing our environmental impact. 


Our environmental mission is to make high-performance products with the lowest possible footprint, engineered for circularity, and with preferred materials, manufacturing methods and distribution models. 


Our commitment is to continue engineering high-performance products with the lowest possible footprint. We have always believed sustainability and performance go hand-in-hand. Our focus is not only on demonstrating the feasibility of these new technologies, but on rolling them out at an industrial scale. Our mantra is: discover, apply, scale, do it fast. 



Our social impact mission is to make diversity and inclusion second nature; a habit infused in the way we live, which positively impacts the world around us. To create positive social impact with our supply chain partners and in the communities where our products are made.


Our work to reduce our environmental impact is intrinsically linked with our vision for a fairer, more equitable and inclusive planet for our teams, partners, and communities – and beyond. 


We consider our suppliers to be members of our extended team, and are committed to responsible sourcing and transparency. 


Saving the planet is a team sport. We pledge to share our progress and learnings openly. The environmental crisis can only be averted if we move fast, together. 


Working in silos only slows down innovation, so we continue to invite like-minded partners to join our explorations. We’re committed to sharing both our results and our challenges along the way. Saving the planet is a team sport. And we want to play our part in the collective fight against climate change. 


Innovation in action


You can see the innovation-accelerating benefits of our team approach in our initiative to convert carbon emissions into high-performance running shoes. Working in partnership with Borealis, a leading supplier of circular thermoplastics solutions, and LanzaTech, a specialist in carbon recycling, we are able to create CleanCloud – a high-performance foam cushioning for running shoes that uses captured carbon emissions as a raw material. Thanks to a collaborative approach, we’ve been able to connect multiple technologies to make this innovation possible and, importantly, scalable. 



Our Impact Progress Report 2021 includes case studies of many other innovation projects, including an update on Cyclon, our subscription-based, cradle-to-cradle program, and our fiber-to-fiber recycling partnership with Carbios.


We’re also innovating for positive social impact, and recently launched our first social impact partnerships program, Right to Run, which is empowering communities to protect and preserve everyone’s fundamental right to access our sport. We’re already working with over 15 partners worldwide, and you can learn more about them in the Impact Progress Report. 



Our approach


The way we approach sustainability is inspired by the Planetary Boundaries framework. The Planetary Boundaries concept was developed by a team of scientists led by Johan Rockström from the Stockholm Resilience Centre. It aims to define a safe operating space for human societies by setting limits on the environmental impact that can be generated within nine key earth systems. Preventing our operations from further testing these boundaries is the aspiration that guides our goals. 


We quantify the environmental impact of our products using a methodology called Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). This comprehensive approach considers the entire life cycle of a product, and provides an environmental sustainability performance profile – or footprint – for our products. It shows us the most harmful aspects of a product’s life cycle so that we can prioritize our actions and reduce the environmental footprint as quickly as possible. 


Informed by this approach, we’ve set ourselves ambitions targets that, if achieved, will make a positive impact in the timeframe necessary to make a real difference. These goals are summarized below, and you’ll find an explanation of each, together with our progress to date, in the full report. 


This is a journey and there’s still a long way to go. But with our commitment to transparency, you’ll be able to follow, and join us, every step of the way. The challenge is daunting, but we believe anything is possible if you dream big and team up. We see this update not only as a report, but as an invitation – we invite you to join us. We invite you to Dream On. 



Download the On Impact Progress Report 2021


Overview: Our impact goals


Climate (Greenhouse Gasses)

Goals by 2030:

– 46% absolute reduction in our scope 1 and 2 emissions* 

– 55% economic intensity reduction (per unit of value-added**) in our scope 3 emissions***

– By 2022 On offices and stores will be powered by 80% renewable energy

– By 2030 100% of company cars will be electrically powered


Materials and Traceability

Goals by 2024: 

– 100% recycled polyester (total recycled content)

– 100% recycled polyamide (total recycled content) 

– 100% cotton fibers sourced from organic, recycled, or petrol-free sources 



Goals by 2021 (Complete, further work is underway):

– 100% recycled, FSC-certified cardboard for footwear and accessories packaging 

– 100% recycled HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) for apparel packaging




– AFIRM and REACH compliant RSL implemented in Tier 1 and 2 by 2020

– 100% PFAS-free (C0) DWR by 2027

– 100% water-based glues by 2024



Goal by 2025:

– Waste diversion rate at Tier 1 factories >90%


Supplier Environmental Impact


– 100% of our Tier 1 and strategic Tier 2 suppliers reach SEF Level 2 by 2023

– 100% of our Tier 1 suppliers reach SEF Level 3 by 2025


Supplier Social Impact

Goals by 2025:

– 100% of Tier 1 and key Tier 2 suppliers meet our expectations of sustainable production

– 100% of Tier 1 suppliers have implemented a living wage




– 100% Tier 1 suppliers publicly listed by 2020 (Completed)

– 100% Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers publicly listed by 2025