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Sport needs a space - header general approach

General Approach

Our ambition is to be a sustainable company.

Being a sustainable business is about striking the balance between shareholder expectations and the needs and concerns of our employees, the workers in our supply chain and the environment. We truly believe that acting as a responsible business – one which is fully committed to respecting human rights – will contribute to lasting economic success.

We are continuously working towards becoming a more sustainable company. While we have been in this game for a long time, we will never stop learning and improving our sustainability efforts. For us, it is about being prepared, setting the right pace and having both the drive and stamina to go the distance. It is about being persistent, overcoming setbacks and difficulties and never giving up on the overall goal. Just like a true athlete never would.


It is a business imperative to adhere to all applicable laws, directives and guidelines. But that is not enough. We are continuously striving to improve our performance and our standing in society by regularly reviewing our progress as well as setting ourselves targets that stretch us and goals that enable us to become a more sustainable company. To achieve this, we follow a proactive approach in managing sustainability issues, which is an inherent part of the Group’s Corporate Governance framework and risk management system.


We have a long track record in sustainability and are proud of our accomplishments, but we will never rest on our laurels. We constantly strive to improve our sustainable performance while acting upon our leadership role and listening to the expectations of our stakeholders and consumers. One example is our extended Sustainability Strategy ‘Sport needs a space’, which pushes the limits of our own ambitions further than ever before. A direct outcome of our business strategy ‘Creating the New’, ‘Sport needs a space’ translates our overall sustainable efforts into tangible goals that have a direct impact on the world of sport we operate in. 

As a global sports company, we believe that through sport we have the power to change lives. This is supported by research we have conducted. It shows that our consumers believe that sport makes us healthy and happy, that it creates value and empowers people. An impressive 92% even say that sport has a positive impact on our society. But for sport to change lives, it needs a space to exist, a field to play on, an ocean to surf or a mountain to climb – and these spaces are increasingly endangered due to man-made issues including human rights violations, pollution, growing energy consumption and waste. Based on our love of sport and responsibility as a globally operating company, we want to be the guardians of these spaces. Thus, we have developed a holistic strategy that seriously tackles the challenges that endanger the spaces of sport and simultaneously our planet and people.

Our Sustainability Strategy ‘Sport needs a space’ identifiessix strategic prioritiesto address the issues and challenges of the spaces where sport is made (all places where products are created, designed, manufactured and shipped), sold (own retail, wholesale and e-commerce) and played  (from the indoor court to the outdoor pitch all over the world). Following the entire lifecycle of sport, our most holistic Sustainability Strategy to date supports us in creating responsibly across our entire supply chain, with tangible and measurable goals, and ensures that sport remains a source of happiness for all people. 


We are proud that our sustainability programme has continuously earned high external recognition over the past decades. Ethical investment agencies and socially responsible investment (SRI) analysts such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the Financial Times Index FTSE4Good and ETHIBEL have rated us favourably in terms of social and environmental performance management. Furthermore, we have been named one of the ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World’ every year since 2005 and made it into the top ten of the ‘Global 100 Index’ for the third consecutive time in January 2016.

These ratings are based on an in-depth analysis of our social and environmental programme, including document review and interviews with our employees and management. The positive assessments underscore our industry-leading role in sustainability and acknowledge our social, environmental and ethical engagement. Most importantly, they encourage us to continue and intensify the activities that are addressed to improve our sustainability performance.

For more information about our track record of awards and recognition in sustainability, please click here.