Running is considered one of the most sustainable sports. To find out how runners feel about running and the environment, Brooks Running questioned 3,639 runners in Europe and the US.
The results show that almost all runners, (92%) do something extra to make their run more sustainable.
Two-thirds of runners already own sustainable running gear. More than eight out of ten runners indicated that they would be willing to run more miles if a company would plant trees for each mile that they run.
Brooks is giving them the opportunity to do so, by launching a Strava challenge in collaboration with Earth Runs. This will take place during Earth Week, running from April 18-24. The goal is to run 100 laps around the world and through this plant 30,000 trees.
People can make a run more sustainable by making small but impactful choices. For instance, choosing to run from home rather than taking a car to their workout location. Almost half of the runners (46%) do this, especially runners from Italy (56%) and Germany (56%). The Dutch (39%) and US runners (32%) are a bit behind. Out of all countries, runners in Italy put the most effort into making their run more sustainable: 97% of the Italians do something extra, like using a reusable water bottle or recycling running gel packaging. Spain follows closely with 96%. In the UK, the Netherlands, and the US 11% of the runners don’t do anything extra to make their run more sustainable.
Plogging increasingly popular
Another way to make running more sustainable is by plogging during the run. Picking up trash while running is becoming more and more popular among runners. At this moment, 22% of runners regularly throw away trash they see on their path. Plogging is most popular in the US (32%), and the least popular in Spain (17%) and the UK (19%). A remarkable result is that most runners say that they are open to committing to picking up three pieces of garbage on their running route and throwing them in the bin in order to make an impact on the environment (81%).
One step at a time
Matthew Dodge, Managing Director of Brooks Running EMEA: “Brooks is committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 because we need to take responsibility for our impact on the planet. We take steps, big and small because movement means change. Our Ghost shoe is carbon neutral for example. And by 2023 we will move to 100% recycled polyester in all our footwear. This Strava challenge together with Earth Runs is another small step to make a difference – one step at a time. Together with our global community of runners, we will run 100 laps around the world and plant 30,000 trees.”
78% of runners think it’s important that their favourite running brand is working on decreasing its carbon footprint. Two-thirds of runners already own more sustainable running gear. While shopping, almost half of the runners check if running gear is sustainably made. However, 33% mention it’s not easy to determine this. Runners expect running brands to commit to sustainability goals and be transparent about their progress.