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adidas Group presents Environmental Strategy, commits to using 100% Better Cotton by 2018

March 22, 2011

Herzogenaurach, 22 March 2011 – Today, the adidas Group presented its Environmental Strategy, a five-year plan to reengineer the company’s approach to environmental management by focusing on significant improvements along the entire value chain. As part of the Strategy, which was published together with the Group’s 2010 Sustainability Report, the adidas Group is committed to using 100% Better Cotton by 2018.

The Strategy is based on extending existing programmes to deliver process efficiencies at every stage of the value chain: from product design, development and sourcing to logistics, own sites and IT systems. As a result, the improved value chain enables the company to offer more sustainable products to consumers, thus improving the Group’s environmental footprint.

“Implementing environmental performance across our value chain is an important step to deliver sustainable operations over the long term,” said Herbert Hainer, adidas Group CEO. “At the same time, our Environmental Strategy creates a sustainable platform for future performance improvements and innovations and is therefore essential for the success of our business.”

One of the milestones included in the Environmental Strategy is the company’s commitment to using 40% Better Cotton by 2015 and 100% by 2018. The adidas Group co-founded the Better Cotton Initiative which aims to improve the environmental impact in the mainstream cotton industry. The primary focus is on reducing water consumption and pesticide use in cotton farming.

“By supporting the Better Cotton Initiative, we want to contribute to making global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for our consumers,” said Herbert Hainer. “Our goal is to use 100% Better Cotton in our products by 2018 and we are excited to work closely with the Better Cotton Initiative towards achieving this ambitious goal.”

Another flagship initiative evolving from the Strategy is called “Green Company” and looks at the own sites of the adidas Group. During 2010, the Group’s headquarters in Germany and five North American sites worked together to create a shared environmental management system, certified to ISO 14001. All certified locations are managed in accordance with the international management system standard which allows global target-setting and management at HQ as well as a standardised approach to day-to-day environmental management at site level.

The launch of the Strategy coincides with the publication of the 2010 Sustainability Report. The adidas Group has published eleven consecutive annual Sustainability Reports since 2000, which is unique in the industry. The 2010 edition contains an extensive chapter on the Environmental Strategy and its milestones. It can be found online only under the following link: http://sustainabilityreport.adidas-group.com/en/SER2010/.

The adidas Group has been working towards more sustainable business practices for more than a decade and is recognised as an industry leader in this area. Aspects of the Group’s sustainability work include improving working conditions in supplier factories, reducing the environmental impact of our own operations and in our supply chain, caring for the welfare and development of our employees, and making a positive difference to the people in the communities where we operate.


About the adidas Group

The adidas Group is one of the global leaders within the sporting goods industry, offering a broad range of products around the core brands adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade, Rockport and Reebok-CCM Hockey. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the Group has more than 42,000 employees and generated sales of € 12 billion in 2010.

Note to the editor:
To further explore the sustainability efforts of the adidas Group, please find below an overview of some of the Group’s initiatives:

  • Committed to using 100% Better Cotton by 2018 in all of its products after co-founding the Better Cotton Initiative which is dedicated to making the cotton-making process more sustainable by cutting water consumption considerably and addressing pesticide management, crop rotation and sound working conditions
  • Started adidas Better Place product programme in 2007 to create true performance products with authentic sustainable credentials.
  • Collaborated with key players from various industries in order to bring sustainability to a new level, e.g. by co-founding the Leather Working Group or by supporting the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
  • Tackled harmful emissions on all fronts - pioneered phasing-out of PVC (2000), introduced restricted substances policy (1998) and switched to water-based adhesives in athletic footwear manufacturing.
  •  Had headquarters in Germany and five North American sites ISO 14001 certified – now committed to cutting 30% of relative carbon emissions within own locations as part of its Environmental Strategy 2015.
  • Engaged in stakeholder dialogues on four continents for more than a decade, earning credibility and respect within the community.
  • Dedicated to improving working conditions across the supply chain – participating company in the Fair Labor Association; set up worker hotlines in more than 400 factories across China.
  • Has provided schooling to more than 20,000 kids in 125 schools in Sialkot/Pakistan since 2002 by fully funding the Sudhaar community project.
  • Launched social business initiative together with Nobel Peace prize winner Professor Yunus in order to develop an affordable shoe for the poor.
  • Supports organisations teaching values through sports to underprivileged children across the world, and aims at increasing sports participation in the UK by implementing dozens of adiZones across the country leading up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
  • Published eleven Sustainability Reports since 2000 and recognised as leading sustainable company in the consumer goods sector by Dow Jones Sustainability Index each year since 2000.

Please read the complete 2010 Sustainability Report under: http://sustainabilityreport.adidas-group.com/en/SER2010/