Herzogenaurach, 27 August 2009 – A recent report issued by Greenpeace highlighted the environmental impact of the proceeding deforestation in the Amazon rain forests caused by the increasingly expanding cattle sector in Brazil. The report adresses shortcomings in the effective protection of embargoed areas of the Amazon biome as defined by the Brazil government. The report also raises claims of inacceptable working conditions at certain cattle ranches.
Leather is made from animal hides that is a by-product of meat production and as such represents a small fraction of the value of cattle. The adidas Group uses processed leather materials primarily in footwear products and specifies its leather materials with leather suppliers. As a company that is committed to sustainable business practices in our own operations and our supply chain we are requiring our leather suppliers sourcing rawhides from Brazil to take a proactive stance in supporting effective measures that help tackle climate change, protect the environment and the indigenous people in the region. These requirements reflect our corporate values and principles and they help us to select those business partners we wish to work with and those we do not.
In particular, we expect our leather suppliers to manage their supply chains by adhering to the following requirements:
- By September 1st, 2009 leather suppliers shall publicly declare their commitment and support of the moratorium on deforestation in the Amazon biome area that is defined by IGBE (Brazil's National Institute of Geography and Statistics).
- Leather suppliers are requested to support and join an ongoing, traceable and transparent system that provides credible assurances that leather only comes from cattle raised at farms
- adhering to the moratorium on deforestation of the Amazon Biome;
- complying with all legal requirements as imposed by the Brazil Government or its local municipalities related to the protection of the rain forest in the Amazon biome;
- not occupying land disputed by indigenous groups or areas protected by federal, state or municipal legislation;
- having signed Brazil’s National Pact on the Eradication of Slave Labour, supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Suppliers listed by the Ministry of Labour and Employment as being involved with employing slave labour on farms shall be suspended immediately.
While we acknowledge that the development of this system requires active collaboration among all tiers of the leather supply chain, we request suppliers to commit themselves in putting these measurements in place by July 1st 2010. If - after this date - leather suppliers are unable to provide credible assurances that leather used by the adidas Group in its products meets this policy, the adidas Group will insist in further measures to implement this policy.
In order to implement our objective, we are working within the Leather Working Group (LWG) on the development of a hide traceability protocol which our leather suppliers are requested to comply with as a condition to do business with the adidas Group. The adidas Group believes that joining together with our industry partners in this effort through the LWG insures an ongoing and sustainable method to stop deforestation in the Amazon Biome region.