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Managing the impact on biodiversity and nature along the entire value chain is a key focus of our work in the area of sustainability. We continue to address water efficiency, water quality, and chemical management in dedicated programs and rely on holistic frameworks such as Science-based Targets for Nature to guide our strategy.

adidas is aware of the potential impact its business operations can have on ecosystems, disrupting our supply chains connected to nature-derived materials, compromising landscapes and ecosystem services, and influencing the future of the textile industry. At the same time, we believe that maintaining and preserving biodiversity is a complex challenge that requires systemic change and strong collaboration among multiple actors, including suppliers, certifiers, innovators, and partners. As a signatory of the Fashion Pact, we have committed to set specific targets and action plans to decrease our impact on biodiversity.

In 2023, we continued to assess and better understand where exactly our impacts lie and started to formulate our approach to managing biodiversity challenges in our value chain. A particular focus was given to the potential risk of deforestation, as this represents the greatest lever for reducing the loss of biodiversity. In our value chain, a potential risk of deforestation is linked to the sourcing of nature-derived commodities used in our products and packaging, such as leather, natural rubber, and timber. Following scientifically validated frameworks provided by the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) and the Accountability Framework Initiative (AFI), we identified first concrete actions to be taken across our entire value chain, such as mapping our supply chain beyond our Tier 3 suppliers and setting time-bound commitments for deforestation-free supply chains.

In 2023, we prioritized leather and have already set such a target. Roadmaps for natural rubber and timber-derived materials are under development.


adidas was one of the pioneers to commit to sourcing all bovine leather from deforestation- and conversion-free (DCF) supply chains by 2030 or earlier. This commitment is based on the ‘Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather’ by Textile Exchange and the Leather Working Group (‘LWG’), which aims to catalyze change within the entire bovine leather value chain through collective action. To achieve the 2030 target, we will follow a two-phase roadmap. The first phase encompasses mapping the leather supply chain beyond the tannery to the origin of the hide at the slaughterhouse. This additional transparency will allow a risk assessment and, in a second phase, lead to more specific requirements for the earlier production stages to ensure that the leather we source is not linked to deforestation. For more information about this commitment, see here.

In 2023, we started a comprehensive mapping of our entire leather supply ecosystem down to the slaughterhouse and, where possible, to the farm level. This assessment was carried out with the support of an external party and is currently under evaluation. Our next steps will be based on this mapping. The strong collaboration with our strategic suppliers plus our traceability expertise give adidas the confidence to pave the way toward a DCF supply chain. 

Traceability is a key aspect to achieve our DCF targets. We are therefore supporting various initiatives that are working on creating scalable traceability solutions for the leather supply chain, such as the LWG ‘Traceability Roadmap,’ which is targeted at producing a model for deforestation due diligence and chain of custody. We are also sponsoring the first phase of the COTI (Certification of Origin and Traceability Implementation Initiative), which aims to enable traceability for social and environmental compliance from farming to slaughterhouse, including indirect farming systems in the state of Pará, Brazil. In addition, adidas piloted a traceability blueprint for leather footwear using blockchain technology with the UN Economic Commission for Europe.


To address the challenges in our supply chain related to timber-derived materials, adidas has partnered with Canopy to help protect ancient and endangered forests through the CanopyStyle and Pack4Good initiatives. adidas is committed to:

  • assessing our use of man-made cellulosic fibers (MMCF), timber-derived packaging, and paper, and setting interim targets to eliminate sourcing from endangered species habitat and ancient and endangered forests, while working to eliminate sourcing from companies that are logging forests illegally,
  • developing a strategy with targets and timelines for the reduction and reuse of timber-derived packaging by end of 2024,
  • exploring alternative Next Gen fibers as part of a commitment to innovative and more sustainable materials,
  • working with Canopy and adidas’ strategic suppliers to support collaborative and visionary solutions that aim to protect remaining ancient and endangered forests. 


Concerning natural rubber, adidas has also initiated a supply chain mapping exercise to identify the countries of origin of this feedstock and all actors involved. The gaps identified in this analysis will be addressed over the next few years to ensure we have full visibility of our supply chain and to enable us to work with our suppliers toward our goal of sourcing DCF natural rubber.


We have also gone beyond the scope of understanding the impact of raw materials and have assessed our own and strategic suppliers’ operations against proximity to biodiversity-sensitive and water risk areas, using internationally recognized tools such as the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT), Species Threat Abatement and Restoration (STAR), and Aqueduct (data platform run by the World Resources Institute using open-source, peer reviewed data to map water risks such as floods, droughts and stress).


We are closely monitoring the further development of the Science-based Targets for Nature framework and intend to apply it to guide our next steps when it is ready.