Best Corporate Do-Gooder

The pro skater-turned-CEO of Sole Technology—owner of etnies, Emerica, and other shoe and apparel brands—decided to celebrate his Lake Forest-based concern's 25th anniversary not with cake, champagne and party favors, but trees—35,000 of them, to be exact. That's how many Pierre-André Senizergues is on track to plant this year on the Maleku reserve in northern Costa Rica. Working with the nonprofit La Reserva Forest Foundation, Sole Technology has planted one tree in the new etnies rainforest for every pair of Jameson 2 Eco shoes sold. The shoes themselves are made of recycled bike tires and rubber gloves, and the laces are created from plastic bottles. The Maleku are an indigenous tribe whose life revolves around the forest, but it has been a constant struggle to survive the past 150 years due to cattle farming and a rubber-tree war that nearly wiped them out. Established in 1986 as the first skateboarder-owned and -operated footwear and apparel company, Senizergues' firm long ago set a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2020, which folds in nicely with the nation of Costa Rica hoping to do the same by 2021. By planting at least 35,000 trees, around 6,930 tons of carbon dioxide will be absorbed from the Earth's atmosphere throughout the trees' lifetime; the “Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree Project” video at etnies' website explains more. |

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