HORGEN, Switzerland (April 1, 2009)—Dow Polyurethane Systems and Italian shoe sole maker Mondial Suole plan to test a newly developed elastomeric polyurethane material with renewable content for use in the footwear industry.
The polyurethane contains polyols made from Dow Polyurthane's Renuva technology, which incorporates 20 percent to 25 percent of raw materials derived from renewable sources. Dow said in the design for footwear applications, the new product, once evaluated by the footwear industry, would help bring more environmentally sustainable practices to the shoe manufacturing process.
The project is called “Green Footprint” and was made possible by a grant from the European Commission's 2008 LIFE+ program, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of goods and services and promotes “clean,” innovative technologies. Dow said its proposal was selected from among 325 submissions from other European industries and institutions in the category of Environmental Policy and Governance.
Dow and Mondial Suole plan to run preliminary customer trials by mid-2009 and to begin market validation process in the first quarter of 2010. The polyurethane material is produced at Dow's Correggio, Italy, plant.