About the report

Scope and boundaries of the report

The adidas Group has been issuing an annual sustainability report since the year 2000. It has become an integral part of our regular corporate disclosure and reporting practice. This online report describes the social and environmental performance of the adidas Group during 2010. It covers all brands in the adidas Group and our own facilities in all the countries where we operate. The report also refers at length to the activities of our suppliers - both those with whom the adidas Group has a direct contractual relationship (our direct supply chain) and those whose contracts are with individual business units, agents or licensees (our indirect supply chain).

The report sets out our goals, strategy and actions we have taken in further shaping the adidas Group sustainability performance. It includes core information about the strategies and programmes targeted at:

  • Improving working conditions in our suppliers' factories
  • Reducing our environmental impact along the Group's entire value chain
  • Securing and promoting the well-being of our global workforce
  • Managing our wider social responsibilities as a multinational company.

The report refers back to key targets that were listed in our 2009 sustainability review and assesses our progress in meeting them.

Determining materiality - how we have chosen what to report

There is a universe of potential sustainability issues a multinational company might face. To identify the most relevant issues for our business we apply certain filters that help us determine where to focus our capacities and resources. The following categories guide us in determining materiality in our programmes and reporting:

  • Our mission and values: issues that are rooted in the adidas Group's mission to be a global leader in the sporting goods industry and the corresponding business strategy.
  • Reputational impacts/risks: issues that may have a reputational impact or may pose a risk to the company in the short, medium, or long term.
  • Legal and regulatory drivers: issues that are being shaped by existing, emerging or evolving government policy and regulation.
  • Peer-based and industry-wide norms: sustainability issues or standards that are developed by other companies or are addressed industry-wide and are used as benchmarks for our performance.
  • Stakeholder concerns and societal trends: issues that are of high importance to our stakeholders including communities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the general public, or reflect societal and consumer trends.
  • Opportunity for innovation: areas where we can explore innovative solutions that benefit the environment, our supply chain, customers and other stakeholders to demonstrate sector leadership and create competitive advantage.

Accordingly, the report prioritises social and environmental issues identified as relevant and significant, and describes targets for the next reporting period.

We refer to the G3 Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for a steer on what to include in our report. We also refer to the G3 Sector Supplement Apparel and Footwear, although it has yet to become a formal part of the GRI. In each section of the report we make reference to the applicable standards of the G3 Guidelines. For more detail on our use of the GRI, see the GRI Index.

Prioritising topics in the report

Compared to the sustainability reviews we issued in 2008 and 2009, where we specifically focused on our progress and achievements, in this year's report we have broadened the scope of our reporting by providing in-depth information about our social and environmental programmes and how they are structured and integrated in the company organisation.

  • This year we launched our new Environmental Strategy 2015. It is a detailed and rigorous programme with targets set across the business to help us reduce our overall environmental footprint 15% by 2015. Accordingly, we have further expanded our coverage of our global environmental programmes and initiatives, which we implement both within the adidas Group and in the supply chain.
  • A key focus continues to be our global supply chain where we seek to ensure fair, healthy and environmentally sound conditions for the workers who make our products.
  • We comprehensively report about the adidas Group's employee and Human Resources programmes targeted to drive employee engagement and to secure a performance culture.
  • We also provide a comprehensive description of how we partner and engage with other organisations to drive social and environmental improvements in countries and communities where we and our business partners operate.
  • The report includes information covering all brands and divisions of the adidas Group, as well as key facts about our supply chain and our environmental performance.

Target audience of our report

This report has been written for all of our stakeholders that may have an interest in our reporting. While some of them expect us to be focused on their specific areas of concern, others wish to obtain a broad overview of our work. To satisfy as many interest groups as possible the report aims to provide a complete outline of our work including performance data but also remains fact-based and succinct. In some instances, the reader is directed to other web pages and adidas Group reports for more information.


We recognise that some stakeholders want companies to ensure that the content and data disclosed in sustainability reports is independently verified. While we strive to continuously improve our reporting systems for supplier monitoring data, we feel that much of this data - in particular, data on labour conditions - is not always verifiable in a standardised way. Therefore, at this stage, report verification would not add value. We do, however, believe that independent verification of workplace conditions and of the processes and monitoring approaches we adopt in our compliance programme is important. For this reason the report contains information that is subjected to an annual review by the Fair Labor Association. We also refer to data verified when supplier factories or our own facilities were certified to ISO, EMAS and OHSAS standards.

In 2010, five major administration sites (as well as the central Group function of our Green Company programme) were certified in accordance with the ISO 14001 environmental management standard. So any information disclosed about our environmental programmes at these sites has been subject to external auditing.



Reading this report

Performance counts and reporting is about making performance clear to readers.

So in this year's report each page identifies which Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicators it addresses, complementing the GRI Index.