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CSR Press Release

Brooks(R) Sports Unveils BioMoGo Biodegradable Shoe

Submitted by: Brooks Sports, Inc.

Categories: Environment, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Nov 15, 2007 – 07:16 AM EST

 

Ground-breaking Technology Brings World's First Biodegradable Midsole to Runners

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Brooks Sports, Inc., a leading performance running company, today introduced from its sales meeting BioMoGo, the world's first biodegradable midsole. Blazing a new trail in the athletic industry by offering runners more environmentally friendly footwear, Brooks designed its new BioMoGo midsole to biodegrade 50 times faster than conventional athletic shoes.

BioMoGo midsoles include a non-toxic, natural additive that exponentially increases the rate of biodegradation by encouraging anaerobic microbes to biodegrade nutrients into reusable byproducts. While Traditional Ethylene Vinyl Acetate(TM) (EVA) midsoles can last up to 1,000 years in an enclosed landfill, extensive tests have proven that BioMoGo can biodegrade in roughly 20 years when placed in the same environment. By using BioMoGo in its shoes, Brooks will save nearly 30 million pounds of landfill waste over a 20-year period.

"BioMoGo offers runners uncompromised performance and quality in their footwear while also reducing the impact shoes have on the planet," said Pete Humphrey, vice president of footwear research and development at Brooks Sports, Inc. "Introducing BioMoGo into our collection is just one way Brooks is doing its part to ensure our customers have a healthy environment for the long run."

Offering all of the benefits of Brooks' industry-leading MoGo technology, BioMoGo provides runners more cushioning, more rebound, a softer first feel, less wear, and consistent performance across varied temperature ranges. Without losing durability or performance, BioMoGo significantly lessens environmental impact once retired shoes hit an enclosed landfill.

"Brooks is focused on providing cradle-to-cradle sustainable product solutions," said Derek Campbell, materials engineer for Brooks' Future Concepts team. "That means making sure BioMoGo breaks down into reusable nutrients that can nourish the earth for generations to come."

BioMoGo enhances a type of biodegradation that requires the simultaneous occurrence of three environmental conditions: the absence of oxygen, the presence of many microbes, and the existence of moisture. BioMoGo biodegradation cannot occur without this "triple convergence." These three environmental conditions cannot be found in places were shoes are worn or stored. Biodegradation can only happen once a shoe has been thrown away and buried deep in an active enclosed landfill. Once BioMoGo encounters this "triple convergence," it begins to break down into its component nutrients. This makes the carbon that was locked up in the original petroleum available for plants and animals to use for growth.

Although the application of BioMoGo technology to footwear involves valuable intellectual property, Brooks decided at the outset that it would treat its new midsole discovery as an "open source" innovation.

"We strongly believe that by sharing BioMoGo with other footwear companies, and other companies in general, this technology can make an even larger impact on the world we all share," said Jim Weber, president and CEO of Brooks Sports, Inc.

In addition to landfill reduction, BioMoGo's production process is derived from the same Compression Molded Preform (CMP) midsole manufacturing process used to produce MoGo. CMP is an efficient, environmentally friendly production method that reduces material waste by 50 percent and increases material consistency by 200 percent.

BioMoGo will make its debut in the Trance(TM) 8 premium support shoe on July 1, 2008. All shoes in the Brooks performance running footwear continuum will incorporate BioMoGo by the end of 2009.

BioMoGo is the latest project Brooks has initiated to support its sustainability focus. Other examples include incorporating the CMP process, introducing HPR Green rubber, reducing PVC, developing a new environmentally friendly shoe box, and scrutinizing its printed collateral pieces and vendor partners for their environmental impact. Leading running magazine Runner's World granted Brooks its 2006 Runner's World International "Innovation Award" for the brand's environmental stewardship efforts.

Please visit Brooks Sports' "Green Room" at http://www.brooksrunning.com/greenroom for additional information about BioMoGo and other social responsibility and environmental stewardship programs from Brooks.

About Brooks

Brooks Sports, Inc. is a leading running company that designs and markets a line of performance footwear, apparel, and accessories in more than 40 countries worldwide. A subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Brooks was founded in 1914 and is headquartered in Bothell, Wash., near Seattle. The company's mission is to inspire everyone to run and be active by creating innovative gear that keeps them running longer, farther, and faster. Visit www.brooksrunning.com for more information.

For more information, please contact:

Tiffany Putnam Brooks Sports, Inc.
Phone: 425-951-7369
Emily Killoren Edelman for Brooks Sports, Inc.
Phone: 206-268-2267

 

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