PARIS – Adidas is stepping up its sustainability efforts.
The German sporting goods maker said it entered into a partnership with Parley for the Oceans, an initiative aiming to reduce the destruction of the oceans.
The collaboration is to “accelerate the creation of innovative products and integration of material made of ocean plastic waste into the product offer of Adidas as of 2016,” the company said on Monday.
As a first action, Adidas will stop using plastic bags in its own retail stores.
“In 2014 we brought sustainability to our own stores when we introduced our first ‘green’ retail concept in our HomeCourt store in Nuremberg, Germany,” said Frank Henke, Adidas’ vice president for global social and environmental affairs.
“The partnership with Parley for the Oceans has already led us to reassess some of our business practices. Stopping the use of plastic bags in our stores is a primary example of this and the right thing to do,” he added.
Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans, said he was excited about the new partnership. “Our oceans are about to collapse and there is not much time left to turn it around. Nobody can solve this alone. Everyone has to be part of the solution. And collaboration is the magic formula,” he explained, adding that together with Adidas “we will not only focus on creating the next generation of design concepts, technologies, materials and products. We will also engage consumers, athletes, artists, designers, actors, musicians, scientists and environmentalists to raise their voice and contribute their skills for the ocean cause.”
The new partnership coincides with the publication of the brand’s annual sustainability report, which has been tracking the group’s environmental steps for the past 15 years.
Among this year’s highlights are Adidas’ advancements on the product level.
In 2014, the group sourced 30 percent of all its cotton via the Better Cotton Initiative, which ensures fewer pesticides, less water usage and fairer working conditions.
Adidas said it was aiming to increase the number to 100 percent by 2018.
Since launching Adidas DryDye in 2012, a water-free dyeing process also saving 50 percent of chemicals and energy, the group has made more than four million yards of DryDye fabric, saving 100 million liters of water in the process.
By 2016, the technology is slated to expand to its footwear range, the group said.
Meanwhile, on the human rights level, Adidas extended its SMS worker hotline, which gives factory workers the opportunity to express their concerns and make suggestions about health, insurance, working hours and wages.
Launched in 2012, the service now covers 25 factories across Indonesia and Vietnam, employing about 160,000 people. In 2015, the hotline is due to roll out to 20 more supplier factories in the region.