At 11:55 a.m., the starting signal was given: Around 2,500 adidas employees participated in the "Run For The Oceans" event in Herzogenaurach today. Executive Board Member for Sales Roland Auschel and Chief Financial Officer Harm Ohlmeyer were joined by world-class sprinter Gina Lückenkemper, Big Wave surfer Sebastian Steudtner and Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe in the starting row of the running event organized by adidas for the third year in a row. The event involves a four-kilometer lap around the "World of Sports" – everyone is encouraged to run as mch as they can depending on their level of personal fitness and the effects of summer heat.
This year, more than one million runners will participate in more than 50 running events worldwide, including in New York, Tokyo and Barcelona. The sporting goods manufacturer is contributing one US dollar for every kilometer run up to 1.5 million US dollars to the environmental organization "Parley for the Oceans". Already last year, one million US dollars in contributions had been raised. With these contributions, the organization is realizing educational projects for children in developing countries. The education plan includes reiterating the importance of the oceans for our planet as well as practical advice on waste avoidance. In Herzogenaurach, more than 100 children of adidas employees took part in a "Kids Camp" and tackled the topic of plastic waste in the oceans as well.
adidas has been collaborating with Parley for the Oceans since 2015. In addition to educational projects, the main focus is on waste prevention: Plastic waste from beaches and coastal regions – for example in the Maldives – is used in a technically advanced recycling process to produce a yarn for shoe uppers and apparel. The first products were launched in 2016. The product range gradually expanded, from shoes and football jerseys to swimwear and tennis apparel. In 2017, adidas produced one million pairs of shoes; in 2018, five million pairs; and in 2019, eleven million pairs made with recycled plastic from the oceans are planned. In addition, the proportion of recycled materials in the entire product range is increasing. The goal is to use only recycled polyester from 2024 onwards.
The collaboration with Parley for the Oceans is one of the elements that will strengthen adidas' commitment to waste prevention. For example, since 2016, adidas has been using paper bags in its stores and has largely banned plastic from its offices and canteens. The company is also testing fully recyclable running shoes in pilot projects.