Apr 15, 2016
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Adidas unveils new Sustainability Strategy

Apr 15, 2016

Deeply rooted in the company's core belief that sport has the power to change lives, the Adidas Group’s Sustainability Strategy 'Sport needs a space' as part of its 2015 Sustainability Progress Report, translates the Group's sustainable efforts into tangible goals and measurable objectives until 2020.

Adidas launched its Sustainability Strategy on Thursday. All actions taken based on the Sustainability Strategy have a direct positive impact on the world of sport, in order to ensure that sport remains an infinite source of happiness, Adidas said in a press release.

'Sport needs a space' is the result of extensive consumer research the company has done to validate its understanding of how important sport is for well-being, values and working together as well as for overall society. The most striking learning is that 93 per cent of people interviewed said they would hate or dislike a world without places to participate in sport. According to the research, "It would be an unbearable world with little enjoyment; a miserable place with lack of energy".

"Through sport we have the power to change lives and create lasting positive social change," says Herbert Hainer, Adidas Group CEO. "At the same time, sport needs a space like a field to play on, an ocean to surf or a mountain to climb. These spaces are increasingly endangered because of human-made threats such as resource depletion, climate change or overpopulation. This is why we want to take action and be the guardians of these spaces with sustainable work that addresses these challenges."

Expanding the previous sustainability scope and building on the company's track record, 'Sport needs a space' is a holistic strategy framework that follows the entire lifecycle of sport, from 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).

Further broken down into the two main areas of product and people, the following six strategic priorities - being most material to the Adidas Group - tackle the challenges that endanger the spaces of sport.

Under the product category comes water, materials and energy. Adidas claims its approach addresses water efficiency, quality and accessibility.

As for materials, the Adidas Group is committed to driving closed-loop solutions and extending the use of more sustainable materials such as Better Cotton, Recycled Polyester and Ocean Plastic. And when it comes to energy, Adidas says it will continue to reduce its absolute energy consumption, transition to clean energy and look into energy harvesting opportunities.

Under the people category, the Sustainable Strategy aims for empowerment. From factory workers to employees and consumers, the focus is on ensuring they understand and exercise their rights, make informed decisions and unlock their potential.

The Sustainable Strategy also has a strong focus on health. The company says it will strive to enable people across the world to participate in sports activities and educate them on physical and mental health, thus allowing them to lead a healthier and more fulfilled lifestyle.

Inspiring action is also part of the strategy. Whether it is about supporting employees in becoming agents of change in the communities they work, live and operate in or engaging with creators and influencers to drive innovations, the company will harness the power of sport to inspire people around the world to take action.

"This new strategy is our most holistic Sustainability Strategy to date. It is the combination of our best ambitions, our strong track record in sustainability and our steady learnings," says Frank Henke, Adidas Group VP for Social & Environmental Affairs. "The strategy will continue to evolve and grow, depending on the development of new technologies and programmes. While the priorities we have identified will not change, we will continue to work on them as situations evolve and new challenges arise."

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