Celebrating Eco-Progress: Adidas

Today’s Celebrating Eco-Progress installment has some great news concerning a company known more amongst people of conscience for their sweatshops than for any concern for sustainability.

Via GreenBiz.com:

Adidas Commits to 100% Sustainable Cotton Apparel

Adidas’ Environmental Strategy 2015 has the overall goal of lowering its environmental impact by 15 percent by 2015, relative to sales. Within that are many more goals covering product design, sourcing, marketing, company operations and other points in product life cycles…

One area being targeted is cotton, with Adidas aiming to have 100 percent of the cotton it uses meet the Better Cotton Initiative’s standards by 2018 (40 percent is planned to meet the standards by 2015).

“Rather than individual product teams seeking sustainable cotton, it will simply become standard across all our apparel,” wrote Adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer in the report.

The very fact that Adidas has an Environmental Strategy is reason to celebrate, and if you read on in the article, you’ll see that they are working on a lot more than just cotton (parenthetical remarks added for clarity):

  • “By the end of this year…Adidas wants at least 80 percent, by value, of leather it sources to come from gold-rated tanneries; 70 percent of its leather, by value, already comes from gold tanneries, and 26 percent comes from silver tanneries.” (Gold and Silver are the two highest ratings given by the Leather Working Group).
  • “Adidas plans to track more of the sustainable materials it uses through a system called String it developed. Intended to trace the supply paths of materials, String was introduced to suppliers last year. While the system is “well used,” Adidas says, it wil work to get more suppliers to use it.”
  • “Adidas will cut the number of colors it uses in half (it currently uses about 800 colors) and will add more sustainable materials to its toolboxes, which are made up of pre-selected base materials and colors for designers to work with. The materials and colors are chosen based on their ability to provide efficiencies during production, consume less water and energy, and create less waste.”
  • “Adidas wants to shrink its carbon footprint by at least 10 percent, mainly by reducing energy and switching to energy sources that put out less carbon.”
  • “Adidas plans to cut energy by 20 percent, water by 20 percent, waste by 25 percent and paper by 50 percent (the last three are on a per employee basis), all by 2015. Another effort that will bring down energy is Adidas’ goal to reduce the impact of its IT operations by 20 percent by using power management setting in computers, virtualizing servers and consolidating at data centers.”

That is most certainly MUCH more than a shallow greenwashing campaign.

Thanks, and keep up the good work, Adidas!

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