adidas reiterates commitment to the Oceans and publishes 2016 Sustainability Progress Report

Another step in the company’s commitment to create one million pairs of shoes made from Ocean PlasticTM in 2017.
adidas reiterates commitment to the Oceans and publishes 2016 Sustainability Progress Report
HerzogenaurachApril 21, 2017
  • adidas set to release three new Parley running shoes on May 10
  • adidas x Parley Run for the Oceans digital event brings the movement closer to its global community 
  • Four Major League Soccer (MLS) teams to wear jerseys made from Parley Ocean Plastic™ on pitch this weekend as a sign of support for the oceans

adidas today reiterated its commitment to help end marine plastic pollution as part of its partnership with Parley For The Oceans. On May 10, adidas is set to release three new running shoes, created with Parley Ocean Plastic™, making adidas x Parley footwear more readily available to consumers around the world. Two years into its partnership with Parley, this product launch is yet another step in the company’s commitment to create one million pairs of shoes made from up-cycled marine plastic in 2017.

"At adidas, our core belief is that through sport, we have the power to change lives. This becomes particularly relevant when we talk about the impact we have with our sustainability work. We are one of the very few companies that integrate sustainability into their business model, which becomes most visible in the fact that we take sustainability to the product level."

Kasper Rorsted, adidas CEO

"But we do not stop there. We not only see sustainability as an opportunity to get a competitive advantage. We see it as an obligation for us as a global company to do business in a responsible and sustainable way”, commented Kasper Rorsted, adidas CEO. 

Following last year’s launch of adidas’ first products made from Parley Ocean Plastic™, adidas today unveiled details on the upcoming Parley editions of UltraBOOST, UltraBOOST X and UltraBOOST Uncaged. Using intercepted marine plastic, adidas is turning threat into thread to create high performance products, including swimming and outdoor items that were released earlier this year. Find more information at

In addition, two major activations are planned to continue to raise awareness for the state of the oceans: 

  • adidas is calling on its global community to sign up for the adidas x Parley Run for the Oceans, a global digital activation taking place around World Oceans Day 2017 (June 5-11). To find out more and sign up, please visit
  • On Sunday, April 23, following the inception of the adidas x Parley Real Madrid and Bayern Munich jerseys in November 2016, four MLS teams will take the pitch in game jerseys made from Parley Ocean Plastic™. The unique kits will be worn when New York City FC host Orlando City SC and when LA Galaxy welcome Seattle Sounders at Yankee Stadium and StubHub Center, respectively.

"Every second breath we take is generated by the Oceans. And still, we are destroying them in rapid speed. Together with adidas we achieved the impossible and turned the severe threat of marine plastic pollution into an opportunity for the whole industry", commented Cyrill Gutsch, Founder of Parley for the Oceans.

"We established Parley Ocean Plastic™ as a premium material, a symbol of change, a flag for a strategy that can end the problem for good: Parley AIR. Avoid, Intercept and Redesign."


The company also released its 2016 Sustainability Progress Report, the 17th edition published so far. The report is an annual overview of achievements and challenges, outlining adidas 2020 targets in reaching its six strategic priorities: from using more sustainable materials in its production, to tackling the ever-growing issue of water scarcity or the empowerment of its supply chain workers, among others. It is available on the company’s website.


Deeply rooted in the company’s core belief, the sustainability strategy — launched in 2016 — translates adidas’ sustainable efforts into tangible goals and measurable objectives until 2020. The annual Sustainability Progress Report informs about the sustainability strategy progress.

"No matter how far adidas has come with its sustainability efforts over the years, we know that we can always improve."

Kasper Rorsted, adidas CEO

“For this reason, we are calling all creators, our own employees, our partners and consumers as well as suppliers to be a part of this important journey. We strive to give them the space their ideas and creative force need to improve our company’s sustainable efforts”, says Kasper Rorsted. 


  • 2016 target to source 60% Better Cotton exceeded by 8pp, on track with company target of sourcing 100% sustainable cotton by the end of 2018.
  • Elimination of approximately 70 million plastic shopping bags as a result of the global switch from plastic bags to paper bags in retail stores. 
  • Achievement of 23% water savings per employee on adidas sites (2008-2016).
  • 736 employees spent a total of 33,000 hours volunteering.
  • Increase of 47% in the number of BOKS schools, a free before-school physical activity programme, compared to 2015. 
  • Growth by 10% in the access to the Workers’ Hotline. The service is now available to 290,000 workers in 63 strategic supplier factories across four countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and China).
  • adidas ranked second in the Apparel sector, and fifth in the overall ranking out of 98 corporations in the newly launched Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB). Also, it ranked first in the KnowTheChain evaluation of forced labour in the global Apparel and Footwear sector, mainly due to its best practices, including strong disclosure and supply chain risk mapping.

The 2016 Sustainability Progress Report is available here.

For more information about adidas’ sustainability approach, click here.

To learn more about the adidas x Parley partnership, click here.

adidas’ results in the area of sustainability have been receiving continuous external recognition. For instance, in 2016, for the 17th consecutive time, the company has been selected to join the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), the world's first global sustainability index family tracking the performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide.