Community engagement and support for those in need ('relief efforts') are key components of our corporate culture. For many years now, adidas has been working closely with a number of different organizations on both local and global level and has been actively supporting communities. All programs are built on three complementary pillars – community involvement, employee engagement and corporate giving – determined by local cultural, economic and social factors. Programs on company level are supplementary programs led by our Social and Environment Affairs team. They include activities at adidas headquarters, relief operations and projects in suppliers’ countries. At brand level, our programmes are aligned to the brands’ missions.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AS PART OF OVERALL STRATEGY
Our community engagement is embedded within the adidas Sustainability Strategy in which we have set ourselves three strategic 'People' priorities: We empower people, we improve health and we inspire action. These strategic priorities are supported by our Corporate Giving Guideline and various programs for community and employee involvement, such as our adidas Fund volunteering programs. See below for some examples of projects that we support.
PROJECTS AND COLLABORATION
We are present in many countries around the world. Based on our belief that, through sport, we have the power to change lives, we aim to maximize our positive impact by targeting those countries and regions where we have major sourcing operations. We recognize that people in our local offices best understand the needs and cultural sensitivities in their communities. For that reason, we regularly partner with local organizations. After project implementation, we also involve NGOs to review the impact of our project work.
At company level, we continue to support our suppliers’ communities as we make contributions to organizations that promote sustainable development practices within the industry. As natural or other disasters can strike at any moment, anywhere in the world, we also provide financial aid and donate products to international aid organizations to support victims affected by natural disasters, and we have built mature relationships with humanitarian aid organizations that help us to bring supplies into affected areas.
adidas has been involved in refugee initiatives for many years, focusing on areas that we can impact in a meaningful way. Our overall approach to support refugees follows our three-pillar model that is based on
- employment integration,
- humanitarian aid,
- and close collaboration with public authorities and external partners as well as volunteers.
In 2016, we joined the business-driven integration initiative ‘Wir Zusammen' (in English: ‘Us Together’) in Germany to drive long-term projects that aim to help refugees find their place in society. Since 2016, 83 refugees have completed an internship at our company, and 17 of them have been hired in temporary or permanent positions in Germany. They get an insight into our business, retail and logistics endeavors, and support for their integration into the European business environment that will be key for their future life. In addition to language tuition, the company also offers workshops on intercultural communication, job application training and sports courses.
We encourage our employees to bring this initiative to life by organizing and joining regular sporting events and other charitable efforts to support refugees and integrate them into society. This includes employees receiving three additional vacation days on top as a reward and motivation to support these activities.
On a global level, we have been working with the non-governmental organization ‘Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen’ (in English: ‘Wings of Help’) since 2012, to provide and donate products to refugee camps in Syria and Turkey on a regular basis. We also reacted when the situation in Europe – especially in Germany – became more and more dramatic in 2015. The Executive Board decided to donate additional budget on top of our regular donations to several initiatives and programs. This included the SOS Children’s Villages, the refugee aid program in our hometown Herzogenaurach as well as needs-based donations to support our own company-driven refugee aid activities. In 2016 and 2017, we continued our approach and supported refugee camps and programs in Greece, Italy, Turkey, Iraq and along the Balkan route. Moreover, we supported SOS Children’s Villages to build a second village in Damascus as well as to continue their emergency relief efforts in Syria.
In addition to financial and product donations, we have also taken a stand on the refugee situation in Turkey where refugees are looking for work without proper ID cards, passports and work permits and are struggling to find meaningful officially registered and insured employment. To address the useful work integration of refugees and create a legal basis for employment and sustainable improvement of the refugees’ situation, we joined other member brands of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), Ethical Trading Initiative and Fair Wear Foundation and co-signed a letter to the Turkish Prime Minister to regularize employment for Syrian workers. We were happy to see that the Turkish government published the ‘Regulation on Work Permits of Foreigners Under Temporary Protection’ in January 2016, allowing many of the 2.5 million Syrian refugees to apply for work permits. In 2017, we created and distributed 10,000 posters to fight child labor and increase awareness of the hotline established by the Turkish Ministry of Labor to support employees in case of any issues. We have extended our risk management to lower tiers of our supply chain in Turkey, and have established an external bilingual worker hotline in Arabic and Turkish so that employees can raise their complaints and suggestions. Furthermore, we are financially supporting a summer school project for Syrian children in refugee camps in Sanliurfa in collaboration with the Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sports, aiming at enabling around 2,000 children to spend their summer holiday improving mental, physical and social skills.
“Air traffic today has become the heartbeat of the globalized world: More than 2.5 billion people take to the air every single year and it offers the fastest and most efficient way of transporting relief goods into natural disaster areas.” Frank Franke, CEO Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen – Wings of Help. These facts not only serve to emphasize the significance of the industry around the world; they also show that the industry has real potential to support those in need. The basic idea of Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen (in English: ‘Wings of Help’) is simple and very efficient: Available air transport capacity is used to bring aid resources to places all around the world – even to the most remote locations in the furthest corners of the earth. In the past, adidas and Wings of Help have transported relief goods, for example to a home for blind and deaf children in Romania, a refugee camp for Ethiopian people in Israel, a home for blind and deaf children in Russia and a home for AIDS-infected children in South Africa. Together we have also responded to natural disasters.
In addition to such relief efforts, in 2017 and 2018, adidas donated football equipment to support the project ‘Kick the ball and play together’ in Myanmar. The products were distributed across Myanmar to more than 90 schools and sports clubs. Various ongoing tournaments help to increase the understanding of the different religions and ethnic groups via the fair play idea of football.
Since 2012, we have specifically supported Syrian refugees displaced in Turkey with deliveries of critical emergency goods such as mattresses, blankets and winter clothing. Since then, Wings of Help has organized relief convoys also to Iraq as well as to refugee camps in Europe and along the Balkan route to deliver food and clothing including adidas apparel and footwear. We are proud to play a part in the work Wings of Help does to bring emergency relief to those most in need around the world.
Founded in 1919 to support children and their families in Germany and Austria after World War I, Save the Children follows the mission “to deliver immediate and lasting improvements to children’s lives in more than 120 countries worldwide”. Since 2008, we have been supporting Save the Children in emergency relief projects.
Save the Children has also responded to the refugee situation in Germany. It was one of the first organizations to set up child-friendly spaces for refugee children in Berlin that serve as a stimulating play and learning environment with activity, creativity and relaxing areas for the children who also receive professional supervision. Thanks to our support, among others, by April 2016 the operation of four child-friendly spaces reached approx. 90% of the core target group (0- to 13-year-olds). In 2017, we supported the humanitarian relief efforts in responding to the refugee situation in Bangladesh and Myanmar: Since the end of August 2017, more than 671,000 Rohingya, of these about 60% children and many unaccompanied, have fled to Bangladesh following an escalation of violence in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. As Save the Children has been supporting the long-term needs of displaced Rohingya families since 2012, they were able to scale up their relief work quickly with the focus on food security, water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as shelter, education in emergencies and child protection.
In addition, we supported the Save the Children Academy which, among others, carried out a pilot project regarding psychosocial support and psychological first aid. In September 2016, over 10,000 refugee children were enrolled in German schools. Due to their experiences during war and flight, the children, their teachers and parents are faced with a new range of conflicts. Save the Children created and organized professional training for care givers and teachers and provided opportunities to connect and share experiences, reaching 77 educational professionals and indirectly over 3,500 children in Berlin.
“Long-term and trusted partners like adidas help us to act quicker and thus save even more children’s lives when disasters happen. Save the Children says a huge ‘Thank you’. You really help us in making a difference!” Susanna Krüger, CEO of Save the Children e.V., said.
Since its foundation in 1949, SOS Children’s Villages has grown to become one of the largest non-governmental organizations, focused on supporting children without parental care and families at risk around the globe. We support the organization, e.g. in Cebu, Philippines, on an ongoing basis. This includes one SOS Children’s Village with about 140 children and young people living in SOS families with an offer for special care according to their needs and a family strengthening program which supports 870 children of 260 families from the neighborhood.
Responding to the refugee situation, we financially supported the second SOS Children’s Village in Damascus, which opened in October 2017 and offers a safe home for 150 children. We co-funded the program ‘Children on the Move’, which provides shelter, care and protection to unaccompanied children and young people in Europe. SOS Children’s Villages further provides support in various forms in Greece and Italy, ranging from providing psychological and emotional care, social services, language classes, food and hygiene kits, as well as housing, care and legal assistance
For more than 50 years, Lebenshilfe Erlangen-Höchstadt has campaigned for the well-being and rights of people with disabilities. The partnership agreement signed with adidas in 2010 creates the framework for the long-term project ‘Together for strong personalities’.
Through this project, we enable financially deprived people with disabilities to participate in leisure activities and to enjoy learning opportunities. The key features of the program are sociability, recreation and fun to ultimately support participation and inclusion in the community. People with disabilities discover new talents and develop their creative potential.
For decades, Sialkot has been the manufacturing base for suppliers of hand-stitched balls to many well-known international brands, including adidas. But with the market demand shifting to machine-based stitching, many manufacturers had to scale down or close completely, which left female workers jobless with little chance of new employment due to lack of skills as well as social and cultural barriers. As part of our ongoing engagement to protect the vulnerable groups involved in the global apparel and footwear manufacturing industries, including promotion of the rights of female workers, we initiated a project called ‘Women’s Empowerment Program’. The project kicked off in September 2015 with two objectives:
- Improve the knowledge and skills of the redundant female workers to earn income and find new employment.
- Help female workers at our suppliers to have better opportunities in the workplace.
In order to have the biggest positive impact on the local communities, we found the perfect expertise and experience in our local partner, the NGO Baidarie, a non-government and non-profit civil society organization. Through many activities, including enhancing skills in diversified areas of earning a livelihood and mobilizing workers to take the initiative for micro-entrepreneurship, we, together with Baidarie, aim to improve the lives of 1,000 female workers in the Sialkot area and provide them with better opportunities in the workplace. After the pilot phase in 2015/2016, where already 150 women benefited from the program, another 150 women – 75 community-based women workers and 75 on-job women workers – participated during the implementation phase in 2017.
QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL
Between 2002 and 2015, we funded the local NGO Sudhaar to provide education, school infrastructure and sports programs in the area’s rural communities. We managed to reach nearly 30,000 kids across 138 schools, through education, school infrastructure and sports programs in the rural communities.
We strive to enable people around the world to participate in sports, while educating them on physical and mental health, fitness, and nutrition to allow them to lead a healthier life. To follow and achieve this rather ambitious goal, we reach out to children around the world to be more active, and strive to give them access to the necessary tools and athletic opportunities. As part of this approach, we signed a three-year partnership with China’s Ministry of Education (MoE) starting in June 2015 and ending in June 2018 to promote grassroots football in China and nurture football talent based on our shared vision of accelerating football development. The partnership focuses on supporting China’s physical education (PE) classes, teacher trainings, and student training camps through our curriculum, ambassadors, and products overall helping children to get more active and learn that they can benefit from sport throughout their lives. We have achieved many milestones so far: We have donated adidas footballs to over 3,700 schools nationwide, benefiting 3.7 million students. We also benefited 17,600 teachers during the MOE PE teacher training.
adidas winter and summer camp initiatives have reached roughly 3,030 of China’s most promising students so far. Our support also extends to the MoE’s ‘New Long March of School Football’ program. Broadcast daily now, this new 365-episode TV series is reaching eight million viewers, most of them PE teachers, daily across China. It features Tom Byer teaching various technical moves from the adidas curriculum. And finally, we also hosted several MoE activations for which we invited our key football assets such as the football icon David Beckham and young star player Paul Pogba to coach children in special training classes. Our MOE program reached a historic moment when Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited a Chinese youth training camp in Berlin in early July 2017. The training camp was the first-ever collaboration between adidas, China’s MoE and the German Football Association (DFB).
This partnership brings the benefits of sport to children and teachers all over China and follows our goal of inspiring everybody to find their individual path to a healthy and happy life through sport.
There are many different ways how employees can get involved in community projects. The adidas Fund provides one such platform.
Through sport, we have the power to change lives – a mission statement the adidas Fund brings to life in a number of ways. With the help of our partner organizations and our very own adidas employees around the world, the Fund drives positive social change through sport to teach important life values, break down barriers and allow people to live healthier, happier lives.
The support of the adidas Fund is not only financial, but built on three complementary pillars – community involvement, employee engagement and corporate giving – which are again determined by local cultural, economic and social factors. Our few selected partners demonstrate sustainable projects, financial transparency and a sound reputation, which ensures a long-term commitment and best possible results for the children and young people on the ground. The following organizations serve as examples of the long-term sustainable partnerships the adidas Fund engages in for the best possible impact and long-lasting results when it comes to positive social change.
KICKFAIR (Germany) – our partner since 2012
This German non-profit organization uses street football as an entry point for life lessons including ‘integration’, ‘engagement’, ‘rule of law and democracy’ as well as ‘fair play’ and ‘teamwork’, reaching approximately 5,000 young people aged 12 to 18 annually. The results show that over 50% of participating children say that their social skills and their commitment to others significantly improved. The adidas Fund and KICKFAIR have been working together since 2012, and the support includes financial and product donations as well as the organization and execution of workshops for topics such as communication, presentation skills or mediation.
For more information on KICKFAIR’s additional activities and the impact they have, please visit their official website: www.kickfair.org
Moving the Goalposts (Kenya) – our partner since 2011
Moving the Goalposts (MTG) Kilifi is a community-based organization that uses football to strengthen the voice, impact and influence of girls and young women by providing opportunities for them to play football, take on leadership roles and learn about their rights and how to claim those rights, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and choice. The organization reaches more than 5,400 girls (aged 9 - 25 years) who participate in MTG’s ongoing leagues and another 3,000 girls in annual MTG tournaments. The results speak for themselves: After participating in a sport and life skills program, 9 out of 10 girls say that they are a leader, 8 out of 10 know how to prevent a pregnancy (compared to 3 out of 10 before) and 97% of parents have an improved perception of their daughter as a leader. The adidas Fund contributes to the overall objective by making football an area of opportunity for girls, enabling community stakeholders to champion girls’ rights, and also through strategic alliances since 2011.
For more information please visit the website: www.mtgk.org
As part of a greater good, the adidas Fund is closely integrated into the adidas 2020 Sustainability Strategy. It also follows the clear understanding that the employees are at the heart of everything the company does and focuses on developing a culture that cherishes and celebrates collaboration, creativity and confidence – three behaviours we deem crucial to the successful delivery of Creating the New.
A win-win-win situation: While the activities of the adidas Fund around the world increase the knowledge and education as well as the self-confidence of and teamwork with young people, it also has an immensely positive impact on the adidas employees.
Measuring our impact: Regular surveys among employees reveal that the overwhelming majority of employees who participated in adidas Fund activities feel that they changed the lives of children and young people and that the experience changed their own life in a positive way as well. For them as well as for the majority of employees who have never participated, adidas stands out as an employer driving positive social change that goes above and beyond mere financial support.
Despite universally known benefits of fitness, factors such as time constraints and budget cuts have slowly decreased or eliminated physical activity from children’s daily schedules. Lack of exercise can lead to chronic issues such as diabetes, heart disease and many others. In addition to the physical benefits that fitness can bring, numerous studies lay out compelling evidence that moderate to vigorous physical activity stimulates brain function. Benefits include help with memory improvement and improved cognitive ability. Therefore, it is essential to promote healthy habits at a young age in order to set the path for a healthy life.
To help foster these benefits, Reebok introduced theBOKS Program in 2009, an initiative of Reebok and the Reebok Foundation and the company’s major social purpose initiative. BOKS is an innovative, before-school physical activity program with a mission to bring access to fitness to children between the ages of 5 and 12. It provides free curriculum, training and support. All it takes is dedicated champions of change who want to volunteer their time to get the program up and going. In some underserved areas that can’t find a volunteer, BOKS helps find staff and minor funding to get the program running. By the end of 2017, we increased the number of BOKS schools by almost 90% from over 1,500 to 2,800.
BOKS gives children the opportunity to get moving for an hour before school to help boost their academic and physical performance, in addition to their overall confidence and well-being. BOKS classes include fun warm-up activities, running, team-oriented games and BOKS Bits, which are nutritional talks incorporated into each class to increase nutritional knowledge and promote life-long healthy habits. This increased physical activity helps prepare the brain for a day of learning. The curriculum also has BOKS Bursts, which are three-minute workout breaks that teachers can use throughout the school day. The program typically runs two to three mornings a week, before the start of the school day, with class sizes that range from 40 to 100 children.
Program impact: BOKS’ impact has been measured and evaluated by an independent evaluator, NIOST (National Institute on Out of School Time), which conducted a three-year study of BOKS in the Natick schools in Massachusetts, reporting the program had improved students’ memory and executive function and shaved an average of 16 seconds off their 400-meter run times. Another study, authored by Quincy College Exercise Science Director Wayne Westcott and published in the Journal of Exercise, Sports & Orthopedics, showed that students in Weymouth got fitter and healthier after three 50-minute sessions a week for nine weeks. Additionally, BOKS recently began a long-term study with Harvard Medical School and is working with multiple children in the school districts south of Boston, Massachusetts. BOKS takes pride in having an adaptive leadership approach. Innovative, real-time improvements are made to the program in response to the information collected through these measures.
adidas Latin America formed the Social Responsibility Committee in 2010. The Committee’s goals are to promote our involvement with important local social causes, to support charitable organizations through fundraising and to engage adidas employees in adhering to the adidas values and being part of social activities.
The Committee has joined forces with Success for Kids (SFK), an organization which operates in many countries, including the USA, UK, Mexico and Panama. SFK is dedicated to empowering at-risk children and adolescents around the world to become resilient, productive citizens. Through this partnership, adidas is improving the lives of children in Panama by funding various learning and development programs. In 2011, adidas Latin America sponsored SFK’s first walk and run event in Panama, in which adidas employees and families also participated.
Other highlights for adidas Latin America include:
- Participation in the 6th Annual Walk/Run race to benefit the Panama Special Olympics.
- Sponsoring the FANLYC Foundation walk/run event to support children and adolescents with leukemia.
- Supporting beach cleaning.
- Organizing a toy and clothes collection for children in need in a remote area of Panama. Several adidas employees donated time to visit the area and present the donated gifts.
Since 1999, adidas US has been a supporting partner of America SCORES. America SCORES is the nation’s largest after-school soccer (football), literacy and service-learning program, serving more than 6,000 youth in 14 urban, low-income communities. Using the world’s most popular sport as a foundation, America SCORES programs inspire youth to lead healthy lifestyles, be engaged students and become agents of change in their communities.
America SCORES addresses some of the most significant needs facing the USA’s urban youth: illiteracy and obesity. Their programs use football as a building block for teaching creative writing, leadership skills and teamwork to at-risk youth. To become an America SCORES team member, participants must commit to literacy workshops every other day after school. The workshops help students express their life experiences through poetry. On days they are not writing, these poet-athletes practice football and learn how to translate their teamwork skills from the football field to the classroom and into their communities, helping them grow into engaged, active citizens.
adidas provides football products for kids and coaches, leadership on the America SCORES National Board of Directors, sponsorship of special events, such as their annual Poetry Slam, and adidas athlete involvement.
With adidas and the US Soccer Foundation support, America SCORES launched several new programs in Portland, Oregon, where adidas US is headquartered. adidas values the partnership with America SCORES and will continue to support them in their efforts to help even more kids enrich their lives and their communities through football.
Reebok International is proud to be a national sponsor of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. In addition to supporting Avon Walk participants' terrific efforts with Reebok merchandise, Reebok supports its commitment to the fight against breast cancer through its line of Pink Ribbon footwear and apparel to benefit the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Reebok donates a minimum of $300,000 up to $750,000 to the Avon Foundation for Women through the sale of this Pink Ribbon line.
The Reebok Foundation focuses its philanthropy on the BOKS program and also on charitable programs in communities where Reebok offices are located, with special emphasis on the Greater Boston area. The Foundation promotes social and economic equality by funding non-profit organizations that help empower youth to fulfil their potential and lead healthy, happy and active lives. Since 1986, the Reebok Foundation has supported hundreds of non-profit organizations. To apply for a donation from the Reebok Foundation please review the criteria below and click here to complete the eligibility quiz.
- Be public charities that are tax-exempt under paragraph 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue code.
- Empower underprivileged and underserved youth to fulfil their potential by providing them with the tools they need to lead healthy, happy and active lives.
- Serve youth in the Greater Boston area, with priority given to projects that serve inner-city, Boston youth.
- Exhibit strong fiscal management.
We welcome sponsorship opportunities that can help us in our mission. Key areas of focus are: Training, Studio Fitness, Running, Obstacle Course Running and Celebrity/Entertainment. To submit a sponsorship request, please email Sponsorship@reebok.com.
COMMUNITY AFFAIRS STATISTICS
In 2017, we observed a slight decrease in donation requests compared to 2016 (2016: 4,723). In general donation or funding requests significantly varied in nature and purpose. Incoming requests were carefully reviewed against the adidas Corporate Giving Guidelines to ensure alignment with corporate policies, procedures and the available budget framework.
Compared to 2016, the number of supported projects decreased (2016: 476), which reflects our more stringent approach in conducting needs assessments with clear internal definitions. This helped us to continuously focus on key projects with fewer but more impactful organizations. The amount of product donations slightly decreased (2016: 638,289). In region EMEA, we targeted major volumes of product donations to support people in severe need like refugees in various refugee camps all over Europe and Iraq as well as the Rohingya in Bangladesh. To effectively respond to the refugee crisis, adidas continued its financial support to ensure sustainable and purposeful support. Compared to previous years, we saw a slight decrease in volunteer hours of our global workforce (2016: 44,891). This was caused by the restructuring of the employee engagement program within region EMEA. For North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific there was again an increase in volunteer hours of the employees.
With our data tracking system, we aim to fully cover activities from all subsidiaries worldwide. We are constantly reviewing our approach and the system to improve data quality.
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