adidas Group chemical management progress update

adidas Group achieves even more transparency in its apparel supply chain
adidas Group chemical management progress update
March 18, 2015

Herzogenaurach, March 18, 2015 – Today, the adidas Group announced that it has completed a full screening of the chemicals used in the manufacturing of its apparel materials. This marks a best-in-class approach towards full transparency with regard to which chemicals are used in the material manufacturing process, the so called ‘chemical input’ stage. As a result of this analysis, two new targets have been set:

  • By the end of 2015, 50% of all dyes used in apparel will be bluesign® approved.
  • Also by the end of 2015, 10% of all auxiliaries used in apparel will be bluesign® approved. Auxiliaries, as their name indicates, are chemicals used to support the production process but which do not add a function to the product.

"We are very impressed by how fast the adidas Group is implementing its chemical input strategy together with us. The adidas Group’s analysis of their chemical inventory and traceability in their supply chain sets a new benchmark in the industry."

Peter Waeber, CEO of bluesign technologies

Thanks to the partnership signed with bluesign technologies last year, the adidas Group has increased its focus on ‘chemical input’, checking the chemicals that are used by suppliers in the manufacturing process. As a consequence, material suppliers across the globe were requested to provide detailed information regarding the chemicals they use to produce their materials. To be ‘bluesign® approved’ means that materials have to be manufactured in compliance with the rigorous bluesign® criteria for sustainable chemistry.

"To be able to advise our suppliers with regard to smarter choices about the chemicals used in making our products, we first needed to have full visibility on which chemicals are currently being used by our suppliers. This was a tremendous effort, but one that will pave the way for a successful target-setting strategy aimed at achieving sustainable textile chemistry in the future."

Frank Henke, VP Social and Environmental Affairs at the adidas Group

The reason why the auxiliary target is relatively low at this stage is because these chemicals are often supplied by local suppliers. Together with bluesign technologies, local chemical suppliers are being audited and have started their journey to become compliant with the rigorous bluesign® criteria. This process is a long-lasting one. Dyestuffs are instead delivered by global players, the majority of which have been bluesign® system partners for years and can provide suppliers with bluesign® approved dyes.

Targets will be increased on a yearly basis. This ‘continuous improvement’ chimes with the adidas Group’s approach to continuously improve its environmental impact.

Additionally, chemical management at suppliers’ factories continues to be monitored through the adidas Group’s environmental audits. In 2014, the company conducted 143 environmental audits, which also included specific chemical management audits.

Chemical management and innovation is a key component of the adidas Group’s Sustainability Strategy. It is about identifying better ways to create products while also reducing the environmental footprint of the company’s operations.

More information on the adidas Group’s progress in this area will be communicated with the company’s upcoming 2014 Sustainability Report, to be issued in April 2015.