The Adidas' Environmental Strategy 2015 gives a detailed look at the company’s plans for the next five years, where some projects will be heavily reliant on their suppliers and others in their industry to bring change.
According to the sustainability report, "The major environmental impact of our operations occurs in the manufacturing of our products and the downstream supply chain. We only have a limited influence in this area as we have outsourced most production. Therefore, collaboration with other organisations in our industry is critical to build a consensus and the critical mass to develop effective solutions."
The Adidas’ Environmental Strategy 2015 targets areas such as cotton, with Adidas aiming to have 100% of the cotton it uses meet the Better Cotton Initiative’s standards by 2018 (40% is planned to meet the standards by 2015). Adidas founded the Better Cotton Fast Track Program along with H&M, Levi Strauss & Co., Marks & Spencer and IKEA in order to fund farmer education and accelerate the switchover to Better Cotton Initiative standards. The first harvest of so-called Better Cotton was in October 2010.
Another material other companies have come together over regarding sustainability is leather, in this case through the Leather Working Group, which sets standards for tanneries and rates them. By 2015, Adidas wants all of its tanneries outside of Europe to have achieved a silver or gold rating -the two highest levels- from the Leather Working Group.
Adidas plans to track more of the sustainable materials it uses through a system it developed called ‘String’. Although, the system is "well used", as said by Adidas, it will work to get more suppliers to use it.
Along with seeking more sustainable materials from suppliers, Adidas will work with its suppliers to reduce their carbon emissions. Adidas wants to cut its carbon footprint by at least 10%, mainly by reducing energy use and switching to energy sources that put out less carbon. Since Adidas already has a carbon management program for its own sites, it will mainly be working within its supply chain to seek out more cuts in carbon emissions, and will be conducting more environmental assessment at key suppliers' facilities.
In its own operations, Adidas plans to cut energy use by 20%, water by 20%, waste by 25 % and paper by 50% (the last three are on a per employee basis), all by 2015. Another effort that will bring down energy use is Adidas' goal to reduce the impact of its IT operations by 20% by using power management setting in computers, virtualising servers and consolidating at data centres.
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