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General Approach

Our ambition is to be a sustainable company.

Being a sustainable business is about striking the balance between shareholder expectations and the needs and concerns of our employees, the workers in our supply chain and the environment. We truly believe that acting as a responsible business – one which is fully committed to respecting human rights – will contribute to lasting economic success.

We are continuously working towards becoming a more sustainable company. While we have been in this game for a long time, we will never stop learning and improving our sustainability efforts. For us, it is about being prepared, setting the right pace and having both the drive and stamina to go the distance. It is about being persistent, overcoming setbacks and difficulties and never giving up on the overall goal. Just like a true athlete never would.


We have a long track record in sustainability and are proud of our accomplishments, but we will never rest on our laurels. We constantly strive to improve our sustainable performance while acting upon our leadership role and listening to the expectations of our stakeholders and consumers. One example is our extended Sustainability Strategy, which pushes the limits of our own ambitions further than ever before. A direct outcome of our business strategy ‘Creating the New’, it translates our overall sustainable efforts into tangible goals that have a direct impact on the world of sport we operate in. 

As a global sports company, we believe that through sport we have the power to change lives. This is supported by research we have conducted. It shows that our consumers believe that sport makes us healthy and happy, that it creates value and empowers people. An impressive 92% even say that sport has a positive impact on our society. But for sport to change lives, it needs a space to exist, a field to play on, an ocean to surf or a mountain to climb – and these spaces are increasingly endangered due to man-made issues including human rights violations, pollution, growing energy consumption and waste. Based on our love of sport and responsibility as a globally operating company, we want to be the guardians of these spaces. Thus, we have developed a holistic approach that seriously tackles the challenges that endanger the spaces of sport and simultaneously our planet and people.

Our Sustainability Strategy identifies six strategic priorities to address the issues and challenges of the spaces where sport is made (all places where products are created, designed, manufactured and shipped), sold (own retail, wholesale and e-commerce) and played (from the indoor court to the outdoor pitch all over the world). Following the entire lifecycle of sport, our most holistic approach to date supports us in creating responsibly across our entire supply chain, with tangible and measurable goals, and ensures that sport remains a source of happiness for all people.

adidas has also set targets for 2020 and beyond, including:

  • In 2020, adidas will produce 15 to 20 million pairs of shoes using recycled plastic waste from beaches and coastal regions, compared to more than eleven million pairs in 2019, five million in 2018 and one million in 2017.
  • The first fully recyclable running shoe “Futurecraft Loop” has been in the test phase since 2019. The market launch is planned for 2021. adidas is also working on the development of bio-fabricated materials for sports apparel and presented first prototypes for tennis wear in 2019.
  • From 2021 onwards, packaging used to transport products from the manufacturing countries to the store shelves will also be made from recycled materials. At the same time, adidas is testing a recycling loop for transport packaging.
  • By 2024, adidas will only use recycled polyester in all adidas products across the business, aided by the introduction of PRIMEBLUE  and PRIMEGREEN performance fabrics where 100% of the polyester used is recycled. 
  • By 2030, as a signatory to the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, adidas has committed to reduce both its own and its suppliers’ greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2017 by 30 percent. By 2050 adidas aims to achieve climate neutrality.