ZURICH, Switzerland—The Swiss sports brand On has presented its first running shoe with a foam midsole based on materials derived from carbon emissions. Called CleanCloud, the new EVA foam is the result of a supply chain partnership that next to On, also included LanzaTech, Borealis and Technip Energies.
The CleanCloud project took five years of development work by the partners in the effort.
This collaborative approach, said On executives, is key to overcoming the challenges of developing this complex technology at a commercial scale.
The new Cloudprime shoe is a ‘real milestone’—not only for On, but for the whole sports industry, said Caspar Coppetti, co-founder and executive co-chairman of On.
“Five years ago, this was barely a dream. Imagine what can happen in the future as we unlock the potential of alternative carbon sources with further research and in collaboration with the best partners.”
The foam has been developed based on technology from LanzaTech that captures carbon monoxide emitted from industrial sources like steel mills before being released into the atmosphere. Once captured, the emissions enter a patented fermentation process. Bacteria then ferment the carbon-rich gas into ethanol, a process similar to that of conventional alcohol production such as beer brewing.