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CO2 & Climate Change

Climate change is possibly the largest challenge facing our generation. We know we have to play a role in limiting our industry's greenhouse gas emissions.


In 2016, the United Nations Framework Convention created clear goals to limit climate warming with The Paris Agreement. These goals aim to keep the rise in global average temperature to less than 2°C, (35.6°F) above pre-industrial levels – and as close as possible to 1.5°C above (34.7°F). 


As a global company, we have a responsibility to contribute to this worldwide effort. That's why we've defined limiting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions among the top focus areas for our sustainability strategy. It is one of three priorities alongside the use of sustainable materials and the creation of circular products. 


Approved Science Based Targets


On joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to show our commitment to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. The SBTi is a collaboration between the Carbon Disclosure Project, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). It defines and promotes best practices in science-based target setting and independently assessing companies' targets. This means we can be sure we're making a positive impact. 


Each year we create an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in line with the way different emission sources are defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. We publicly report our progress against the targets set by the SBTi.


Reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions


There are three different types or "scopes" of emissions in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Scope 1 emissions are direct greenhouse gas emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by our company. Scope 2 emissions come from the generation of energy our company uses.  


We commit to reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 46% from 2019 to 2030.This is the level of reduction needed to keep global warming to 1.5°C – the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.



Reducing Scope 3 emissions


Scope 3 refers to all the indirect greenhouse gas emissions our company produces – these are emissions coming from sources that are not directly owned or controlled by us. This is mostly related to our supply chain. Examples would be the processing of raw materials or the transportation of finished products.


We commit to a 55% intensity reduction of Scope 3 emissions from 2019 to 2030. This will meet the SBTi’s criteria for ambitious value chain goals in line with current best practices.


Our greenhouse gas emissions in the base year 2019


With so many opportunities to reduce our footprint, we’re focusing on the areas where we will have the biggest impact. In 2019 we assessed our entire operations' carbon footprint to better understand where we should focus our efforts.


On’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019


As you can see, emissions from Scope 3 represent by far the biggest portion. They are also the most challenging to reduce. But at On, we like a challenge. So we’ve been on a journey to decouple carbon emissions and company growth, reducing the ratio between the two. We believe this will inspire even more innovation – both across our operations and in our products. For a fast-growing company like On, it’s a very ambitious target. But with our commitment and belief that growth and sustainability go hand-in-hand, it’s one we’re quietly confident we’ll achieve.  


And if we’re going to hit that target, innovation in materials and manufacturing process will be key. It means rethinking and disrupting the industry. But that’s always been the On way. We’ve already made our first big leap by launching the industry’s first high-performance, fully recyclable running shoe Cyclon, which reduces the environmental footprint for a shoe of this kind by around 50%.




We know we can’t win the fight on our own. But as part of a team, we can make a real impact. That’s why we also joined the CEO4Climate initiative – a group of Swiss businesses that are petitioning the Swiss Government to adopt a progressive climate policy.  


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