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Supply Chain Training

As part of our continuous efforts to achieve more effective and sustainable practice within the supply chain, we have initiated a system of multi-level and cross-functional training sessions with our global supplier network.

In 2014, we trained more than 2,300 staff and personnel through 131 training sessions. We have three main approaches to training content:

Supplier training sessions by type in 2014
  • Fundamental training: includes introductory training for the Workplace Standards, Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC) data entries, new factory approval process and the SEA operating guidelines.
  • Performance training: includes detailed training on specific issues on labour, health, safety and environmental practices, as well as initial assessment monitoring methods.
  • Sustainability training: includes training in the KPI and rating tools, sustainable compliance planning and supplier self-assessment methods.

There is an ongoing programme of training our suppliers to help them improve their social, health, safety and environmental performance. We focus our efforts on the following key training initiatives:

Fair Factories Clearinghouse

The Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC) is an external, non-profit programme which utilises technology that allows members to share information, to collaborate on productivity and to facilitate safe, humane working conditions. The adidas Group’s Social and Environmental Affairs (SEA) team trains selected factories to use the FFC system which builds more transparent reporting. The adidas Group has participated in the FFC platform since 2006 and has used the platform to share supplier audit and monitoring information since 2008.

Find out more about the FFC programme.

Better Work Programme

Better Work (BW) is a unique global partnership between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). It unites the ILO’s expertise in labour standards with the IFC’s expertise in private sector development. Launched in February 2007, the programme aims to improve compliance with labour standards and competitiveness in global supply chains by building cooperation between governments, employers’, workers’ organisations and international buyers.

Since 2007, all adidas Group garment factories in Cambodia have been monitored by BW on a regular basis. Currently, we have a total of 10 factories enrolled in the programme. In June 2009, BW launched its programme in Vietnam. By mid-2013, 14 adidas Group suppliers in Vietnam had joined the BW programme and committed to regular monitoring. We are also actively engaged in the newly launched Better Work programme in Indonesia, where four apparel suppliers are nominated to participate in training and capacity building.

Find out more about the Better Work programme.

Human Resources Management Systems

After years auditing in factories, the adidas Group recognised there was a lack of fundamental HR systems in the Asia Pacific region factories. The introduction of more sophisticated production set-ups such as lean manufacturing required more sophisticated HR practices.

The Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS) training programme started in 2006 and focuses on training supplier managerial staff in the Asia Pacific region, in particular China and Vietnam. Training topics are designed for key HRMS elements covering hiring, compensation and benefits, training and development, performance management and human resource planning. The training has contributed to operational efficiencies, as well as growing worker satisfaction and staff morale.

In addition, we evaluated the modules on freedom of association and industrial relations to more closely link with the FLA’s Sustainable Compliance Initiative monitoring tool. The outputs support long-term social compliance in the supply chain.

Environment, Health & Safety Academy

Recruiting and retaining qualified occupational health and safety staff has been an ongoing challenge for our suppliers, especially in those countries where there is a lack of trained professionals. Faced with the high turnover in factory-appointed safety officers, it became apparent that adidas Group-led training was not sustainable and a more institutional approach was needed: one that would build capabilities at an industry level.

In 2007, the adidas Group and a number of other global companies entered into a partnership with the International Sustainable Community (ISC) – a US-based development NGO – to create an Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Academy, to expand the pool of qualified EHS managers in southern China. The first academy was launched in 2009, hosted by Lingnan (University) College’s Business Faculty in Guangzhou. A second facility opened in Jiangsu Province in 2011, with a specific focus on environmental topics and energy management. Find out more about the Academy in China. The ISC will launch another Academy in Bangladesh in September 2013, and there are plans for a similar training centre to open in India in 2014.

Occupational Health and Safety Officer Programme

In October 2010, we launched a new and upgraded Occupational Health and Safety Officer (OHSO) programme to strengthen the technical capability of the safety teams within our key business partners' factories. The training programme runs for three years and consists of three modules covering ‘Basic Occupational Health and Safety’ issues, ‘Risk Assessment and Communication’ topics and ‘OHS Management’ issues. The first two courses were delivered to almost 600 trainees representing 300 suppliers in six countries in the Asia Pacific region. The last training module of the OHSO programme will be delivered in 2013 and 2014.

The Sustainable Manufacturing Training Programme

The OECD defines sustainable manufacturing as “the creation of manufactured products that use processes that minimise negative environmental impacts, conserve energy and natural resources, are safe for employees, communities, and consumers and are economically sound.” The Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative (SMI) is a project which aims to identify and build the capabilities required by suppliers to plan, implement and manage sustainable manufacturing activities and improvements in order to meet the adidas Group’s 2015 Environmental Strategy targets. The project, which has been piloted in Indonesia, involves Tier 1 and 2 apparel and footwear suppliers.

Energy Management Training in Indonesia

To support our suppliers in achieving the 2015 targets for energy reduction, the adidas Group and ‘Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit’ (GIZ) initiated an Integrated Public Private Partnership (IPPP) project named 'Greening Global Supply Chains - Focus on Energy in Indonesia'.

Launched in August 2011, the project aimed to build internal capacities within factories to be able to:

  • Monitor energy use consistently and analyse the data
  • Propose cost-saving measures
  • Identify and review energy management options and the impact of actions taken.

During the course of the programme, train-the-trainer courses and networking meetings were conducted, and best practices as well as key findings were shared with the wider adidas Group supply chain and the industry in general within Indonesia.

In May 2013, the training programme came to an end. Overall, the outcome of the project is promising as all participating suppliers established their own internal energy team. With this commitment, the total energy consumption in the factories started to decrease already in the first year of the programme. Some participants are now even aiming for ISO 50001 energy management system certification of their sites.

Please do also read about this topic on our adidas Group Blog.