The end of the value chain sees our products sold and eventually become waste at the end of their useful life. The many and varied waste management schemes in place where our products are used make the end-of-life stage a difficult one for us to address although we do engage with local waste managers.
However, we have more control over the sales area and as we increase the number of stores we have a responsibility to address their environmental impacts.
Retail on the way to greener stores
On our way to greener stores, Global Store Development and Global Retail Marketing undertook an environmental audit in three stores of our Western European division, representative for the majority of our concept portfolio to gain a better understanding of where we could make a significant difference. We found there were five key areas where we could improve the environmental footprint of our stores:
- Build-out of the stores
- Energy and utility use
- Fixtures and fittings materials
- Sales support items
- Store operations and the role of staff.
Core Store Manual
The new 2010 Core Store Manual includes a separate section on sustainability with an extra focus on environmental aspects, which act as a guidance tool for the local architects when they build our stores. It also shares best practice from Retail Operation Centres (ROCs) or markets that have already gained some experience in environmental sustainability such as ROC Asia Pacific.
Core Store lighting concept
One key finding of the store audit was that 30-50% of the overall energy consumption of our stores comes from lighting concept on the sales floor, so developing a more energy efficient lighting plan was a priority. The new lighting concept for our Core Stores was launched in 2010 with the updated Core Store concept and will reduce the energy used through lighting by 20-50% depending on the size of the store. This will save up to 25% of our overall energy consumption. And using a more energy efficient lighting plan also results in reduced heat and so saves on the energy used for cooling.
Together with the Store Development team from ROC Western Europe, Global Store Development used the Palladium Core Store in Prague, Czech Republic, as a pilot project. The investment costs for the new lighting concept were already even lower than the previous lighting plan so it proved to be a winning concept from every perspective. As a result, the new lighting concept will be rolled out to all new Core Stores.
Fixtures and fittings materials
Through our ongoing value engineering over the last year we have had some changes in several fixtures and fittings of different concepts for adidas Sports Performance and Originals. These changes also had a positive effect on the environmental performance of our fixture concepts as they helped us to reduce the weight of materials used. This is another case of reducing environmental impact and also saving money. Environmental aspects have now been included into the development and value engineering phase of all new store concepts which should lead to further savings in the future.
Sales support items
Through the store audit we also noticed that we need to look into the different items we use for sales support such as the mannequins, hangers and shoe fillers, as well as bags. The Global Store Development team is currently collaborating with our key supplier and a material research agency to develop an exciting project where an environmentally preferred material is tested for mass production of mannequins for the first time.
Our store staff are not only important for making sales they can also help to reduce the environmental impact of our stores by considering how they can cut down on energy use and waste in their daily working life. There are opportunities to use less paper and reuse hangers for example.
With the support of the Global Retail Training team sustainability was made an integral part of our new Retail University Programme, which all our store staff attend.
We are also developing an environmental handbook.
We are confident that with these steps we will be able to reduce both our carbon footprint and the waste generated by each store.