Planet-first footwear company SOLE™ launches climate accountability initiative CO2negative™ with the world’s first Certified Carbon Negative insoles.

August 26, 2021

Advocating for the planet through carbon labeling and the use of natural recycled cork as a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based foams and plastics.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (August, 2021) — Canadian footwear manufacturer SOLE has launched CO2negative, an initiative to promote and facilitate accurate climate impact labeling on consumer products, and certify carbon-negative products. The initiative follows SOLE’s commitment to labeling all core line products with precise CO2e impact data, so that customers can make informed purchasing decisions.

CO2negative is founded on the conviction that businesses can, and must, do more to accurately account for their impact on the planet, and that consumers deserve the information they need to make properly educated climate-conscious purchasing decisions. SOLE has launched CO2negative to add their voice to growing calls for universal climate impact labeling, and to highlight the incredible potential for creating products that are actually good for the planet, using natural cork. CO2negative’s central thesis is that when it comes to carbon, neutral is not enough. In the face of the climate crisis, it falls on businesses to ensure their impact on the planet is not only carbon neutral, but carbon negative: removing more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than they add.

“Simply reducing harm is not enough, we need to repair and remediate the damage that has been done to our planet,” says Mike Baker, Founder and CEO of SOLE, ReCORK and CO2negative.

With that in mind, SOLE announces their first CO2negative™ Certified Carbon Negative collection; the Performance footbed collection. Created using ReCORK™ Recycled Cork, the Performance Medium footbed has a carbon impact of -2.28kg CO2e (Carbon Dioxide equivalent), that’s 2.28kg CO2e removed from the atmosphere. This incredible number is thanks to the sustainability of natural cork. Cork is harvested from the bark of carbon-trapping cork oak trees, without ever cutting a tree down. For every kilogram of cork harvested, cork oak forests sequester an average of 55kg of CO2 from the atmosphere.

CO2negative accounts for this sequestered carbon when calculating the final impact of products made with natural cork.

Products created using enough cork will often be carbon negative: all the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the product’s life cycle will come to less than the CO2 sequestered by cork oak trees while growing the cork used in the product. By accounting for the role of cork forests in their calculations, CO2negative hopes to highlight the benefit of utilizing existing materials that are good for the planet, in place of harmful petroleum-based foams and plastics.

While not all products can be made carbon-negative from the outset, all products’ carbon impacts can be offset. CO2negative will also offer carbon negative certification on a product-specific or company-wide basis to any product or company that shows its impacts have been offset by a minimum of 110%. In this way, consumers can rest easy in the knowledge that supporting any CO2negative™ Certified Carbon Negative means having the right kind of impact on climate stability.

SOLE has committed to being Carbon Negative starting in 2022. Once year end is complete and all data for 2021 is collected, SOLE will offset 110% of all emissions from 2021 through ReCORK tree planting initiatives. SOLE and ReCORK continue to push the status quo and are set to embark on a range of exciting new planet-friendly product launches and collaborations with industry leaders.

About SOLE

SOLE™ is a Canadian footwear brand, founded in Vancouver in 2001. Our mission is to help people live active, pain-free lives while having the least possible impact on the planet. Our award-winning footbeds are the consumer’s choice for supportive insoles, reducing pain and fatigue in the feet of millions. Building on the success of our footbeds, we launched into footwear that is great for your feet and gentle on the earth. We strongly believe that we have a responsibility to consider the impact our actions have on the environment, which is why we’re blazing a trail for sustainability in footwear. From product design and development, to material sourcing and creation, we are committed to providing quality and comfort that doesn’t come at the cost of the planet. In 2008, we launched our cork recycling initiative ReCORK™, which takes natural wine corks and turns them into a carbon-negative raw material that replaces petroleum-based foams and plastics in consumer products.

We’ve recycled 100 million corks to date, and we are just getting started. Learn more about what we do and how we do it at yoursole.com.

About CO2negative

CO2negative™ provides custom carbon impact labeling and carbon negative certification for brands who are committed to accounting for their impact on the planet. Launched in 2021 in collaboration with SOLE™ and ReCORK™, CO2negative was founded on the belief that consumers deserve the information they need to make well-informed purchasing decisions based on climate impacts. CO2negative advocates for globalized carbon labeling, and encourages companies to take the necessary steps on a product and operational level to go beyond carbon neutral and become carbon negative. Learn more at co2neg.com.

About ReCORK

ReCORK™ creates high-performance, carbon-negative composite materials and components using natural recycled cork. ReCORK™ was launched as a natural wine cork recycling program in 2008 by Canadian footwear company SOLE™. It has since become the largest program of its kind in North America, with an R&D team dedicated to innovation around the cork recycling process. ReCORK’s proprietary material, ReCORK™ Recycled Cork, redefines what’s possible using cork, offering a natural, sustainable, versatile alternative to foams and plastics derived from fossil fuels. ReCORK’s mission is to make petroleum-based foams and plastics obsolete. Learn more at recork.com


Alex Cronje, Impact Marketing Specialist P (855) 949.7653 ext. 154