B Corp Certified footwear and apparel brand Allbirds is fortifying its green business credentials with the help of a new PLM solution from Centric Software, which will assign a CO2e value to every raw material used by the company. CO2e is defined by the EPA as “the number of metric tons of CO2 emissions with the same global warming potential as one metric ton of another greenhouse gas.”
To satisfy its customers who expect sustainable goods from the brand, Allbirds needed to look within its own operations to ensure its processes in design, development and commercialization were aligned with a reduced carbon footprint. Adopting the Centric PLM solution will align product development of Allbirds’ 4,000 SKUs, connecting operations in North America, Asia and Europe, along with design in Portland, Ore., and sourcing in Vietnam. The solution provides Allbirds with a clear picture of product details including color, price, technical specifications and development status.
“[Every] step in the manufacturing process that creates CO2e consumption — the factories that we source materials from, the transportation — will have a CO2e score,” said Joe Vernachio, COO at Allbirds in a statement. “Then you’ll evaluate, just like you do with the margin, going down the list, and you might say, ‘look what that material does to our CO2e score; we’ve got to switch it out.’”
Allbirds had been using in-house processes that incorporated segments of different solutions, but the overall system was not integrated, nor could it be scaled in the future, according to Vernachio.
Allbirds has become known an eco-friendly brand since its founding in 2015 with a commitment to cleaner manufacturing. Its popularity stems from its use of sustainable New Zealand wool, in addition to other natural materials such as eucalyptus tree fiber. In February 2022, Allbirds became more circular with the launch of its ReRun resale platform in partnership with recommerce platform Trove.