(Reuters) -Allbirds, a footwear maker backed by asset manager Franklin Templeton, said on Tuesday it has filed for a U.S. initial public offering, as the company looks to cash in on growing demand for sustainable products globally.
The company, which mentions the word “sustainability” 107 times in its regulatory filing, said it hopes to “help pioneer” a framework for companies to conduct what it called a sustainable public equity offering, or SPO.
In order for a public equity offering to be designated as an SPO, a company must meet certain criteria, such as a minimum environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating and best practices on climate response, among others.
“We believe the SPO designation will help to identify leading ESG companies as they enter the public equity markets,” the company said.
Allbirds’ bid to go public comes against the backdrop of surging investor interest in sustainable companies, which also care about ESG issues.
Plant-based burger maker Impossible Foods is looking to list through a blank-check merger, Reuters reported in April, while Hollywood star Jessica Alba’s Honest Co and Oprah Winfrey-backed Oatly Group AB made their stock market debuts in May.
Founded by co-Chief Executive Officers Joseph Zwillinger and Timothy Brown, a former New Zealand soccer player, Allbirds is known for the use of sustainable materials in its products.
A native of New Zealand, Brown researched and tinkered with the properties of merino wool and eventually teamed up with Zwillinger to craft a wool fabric made specifically for footwear.
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