Green Products

Here we describe how we have brought together our environmental efforts and developed them into consumer-facing products.


adidas Better Place

Did you ever ask yourself, what could I do to make the world a better place? Well, several product managers at adidas asked themselves how they could make their products more sustainable. From this, adidas Better Place was born.

adidas Better Place creates what we call "sustainable performance" products. These products are a part of the normal product range offerings within our different categories (such as running or football), but they meet all the requirements of the adidas Better Place Guidelines. The Guidelines were first created from a thorough assessment of best practice in the industry, and we have been updating them ever since with everything we have learnt through innovating on new products.

The Better Place Guidelines specify actions throughout the products' creation to simplify designs, improve efficiency, reduce waste and use more environmentally friendly materials.

Though many adidas products already meet major parts of the design, construction, or sustainable materials requirements, not all are labelled as Better Place. Only if a product meets all of the requirements can it be labelled Better Place and carry the corresponding logo.

To improve the environmental footprint of Better Place products, adidas collaborates with material suppliers, universities, and scientific institutes to strengthen the guidelines through ongoing research into more environmentally preferable materials, new designs, and improved manufacturing technologies. One recent such study was the in-depth life cycle assessment about recycled polyester.

Better Place also works as an in-house laboratory to test and perfect new sustainability technologies and practices. As adidas finds ways to make the innovation scalable, it then broadens the sustainability technology or manufacturing method out to the rest of the brand as new standard product creation techniques.

Consumer communication

Better Place products are identified in stores by a special hangtag or shoebox, both of which are made from 100% recycled paper and free of glues. Further information about this concept is provided through a dedicated Better Place website at www.adidas.com/Better-Place. It features a gallery of recent Better Place products, explains more about product materials, as well as provides stories and testimonials.

Every season the Better Place concept is integrated into more sports categories and more products. It is our target that by 2012 100% of adidas athletic footwear products and 20% of adidas apparel products will have some sustainable content.

Better Place
Material innovation

Reebok Green Easy

In January 2010, the Reebok Kid's group launched the Green Easy Collection of toddler and infant footwear. This collection was designed with both comfort and the environment in mind. The Green Easy collection takes small steps towards addressing environmental concerns by using eco-friendly materials.

The Green Easy signature green footprint icon can be found on all sock liners in the collection, as well as on the soleplate of the infant shoe and the packaging components - hangtag and shoebox. This footprint symbolises the small steps we are taking towards being more environmentally friendly.

Using sustainable materials

Some of the more sustainable materials used on the uppers of the shoes include textiles made from recycled PET (plastic water/soda bottles), recycled canvas, and organic cotton.

The outsoles are made from a compound of rubber mixed with 10% cork, which would otherwise go to waste. This reduces the amount of chemical rubber in these outsoles by 10%.

All sock liners used in this collection are also eco-friendly. The sock liner foam-backing is made from 70% WinPad, which is made from recycled polyurethane scraps. The sock liner cover textiles are made from a material that uses 70% recycled PET.

In addition, all the packaging in this collection is made from 100% post-consumer recycled fibres, is 100% recyclable, and is printed using soy-based inks.

Marketing the collection

This collection will have new models and styles available in fall/winter 2010, using similar materials and packaging. In spring/summer 2011, we are looking to add one infant shoe made from scraps of left-over leather, and another made from new biodegradable materials.

This collection was conceptualised and designed with the environment in mind. We believe this is a way to attract new consumers, who are increasingly buying products for their children that are made with eco-friendly materials. For toddlers and infants, the target consumers are the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles - any adult in this child's life. These people want to know exactly what substances or materials are coming into contact with their child's body. They are environmentally conscious, and in most cases, are willing to spend more money on these products.

The Green Easy collection is a new step for Reebok. We hope it will help establish our brand as one that cares about the environment, especially for these kids who are future brand ambassadors.