Adidas slashes environmental impact with innovation

Sporting giant Adidas has released its 2014 Sustainability Progress report, revealing more than 20% cuts in emissions, water use and waste over the last six years.

The green gains mean the company has already reached 2015 targets on water and waste, while it remains on track to cut emissions by 30% next year.

The emissions reduction was driven by “energy saving projects and carbon offsetting certificates”, but the company says it needs “sufficient access to renewable energies at competitive prices,” in order to further reduce emissions.


Water conservation was helped by the use of DryDye fabric which saved 100m litres of water alone. The group also saved water by sourcing 30% of its cotton from sustainable sources, on its way to 100% sustainable cotton by 2018.

Adidas merchandising director Ebru Gencoglu said: “We achieved 30% better cotton by setting clear targets for suppliers in advance of the sourcing season, working closely with them to ensure the process went smoothly and helping suppliers build strong relations within their own supply chain.”

HomeCourt advantage

The last year, also saw the launch of a new Adidas eco-store in Nuremberg, known as HomeCourt.

An intelligent control unit, or ‘retail box’, runs all of the store’s operating systems, optimising the heating, ventilation, lighting, shading and door control settings.

The system can produce energy savings of up to 50%. LED lighting and other energy efficient devices also help to reduce the carbon emissions from the store’s energy use.

Further environmental efficiencies are achieved through sensor-controlled water taps and low-flush toilets, and waste is separated to allow for maximum recycling.

The report says the pilot will run for six months, at which point Adidas will analyse the results and “assess the business case for bringing green retail into more of our stores”.

Sea plastic

The German company also announced plans to phase out plastic bags from its 2,900 stores, as part of a new partnership with the Parley for the Oceans initiative. It will also use plastic retrieved from the ocean to make new products.

“The conservation of the oceans is a cause that is close to my heart and those of many employees at the adidas Group,” said Eric Liedtke, adidas board member responsible for Global Brands.

“By partnering with Parley for the Oceans we are contributing to a great environmental cause. We co-create fabrics made from ocean plastic waste which we will integrate into our products.”

Last year, sporting rival Nike announced it wold be reducing the weight of its shoeboxes by 10% in 2015.

Brad Allen

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