CEO statement

In the real world performance counts

CEO adidas Group, Herbert Hainer

Performing in the real world is all about being aware of the challenges ahead and rising to them, however tough they may be. In recent times our Group proved it can do this. We found a way to manoeuvre through the difficult economic conditions in 2009 and then we have had a successful 2010.

The same applies to managing sustainability: it is about meeting the expectations of our shareholders while managing our social responsibilities and looking after the environment. This is not a simple and straightforward process. To make substantial progress requires thoughtful analysis of the conditions on the ground, careful planning and considered execution.

This is what we did in 2010. We continued our efforts to deliver strong results in our sustainability performance based on an analysis of our business priorities and actions we took after listening to our stakeholders. All our measures aimed to enhance the performance of our company.

2010 performance highlights

In 2010, we have successfully launched the Group Environmental Strategy 2015 which aims to substantially improve our environmental footprint. It includes ambitious targets for 2015 and beyond.

One of those is to use 100% sustainable "Better Cotton" in our products by 2018. Rather than individual product teams seeking sustainable cotton, it will simply become standard across all our apparel. This demonstrates how a Group-level initiative such as the Environmental Strategy can help drive process and product improvements across all our brands and that is the essence of our Strategy: to embed environmental sustainability in every part of our business.

Our Green Company programme is engaging our staff all around the world and I am delighted that the adidas Group and our five key sites in North America have achieved ISO 14001 certification for their shared environmental management system. It underlines our systematic approach in driving environmental improvements and it is a testament to the teamwork of the people involved at all the locations.

We are now carrying out in-depth environmental assessments of our key suppliers' factories, driving our commitment to the environment through our supply chain. We have continued to mature the uptake of compliance with our Workplace Standards in our business entities that source their own production. We have more than doubled the number of those business entities that have a social compliance report card to 55 this year, demonstrating our commitment to embedding our Standards throughout our business.

Another milestone this year was the Employee Engagement Survey which scored an outstanding participation rate of 90% and gave us valuable input on our strengths as an employer as well as the areas in which we have to improve. Over the course of the next year, these results will be transformed into actions to help the adidas Group to be the best employer to work for.

Our performance results have not gone unnoticed. We were selected to join the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the eleventh consecutive year and we are considered by the Global Responsible Investment Network to be one of the "Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World".

We are continuing to raise our game, to set more ambitious goals for the future and to prepare for them.

Looking ahead

In October we presented the most comprehensive and aligned Strategic Business Plan this Group has ever created: Route 2015. In the next five years, we want to achieve qualitative and sustainable growth by building desirable, leading brands in the consumers' and customers' perception.

We know that we can only follow this route if we are fully committed to managing our business operations in a sustainable way. While we have made big strides in laying the foundations for success in previous years, we must continue to strengthen our systems and processes.

We continue to work with other brands to develop and roll out new ways to focus our monitoring and training efforts so we can make more of a difference improving conditions for workers in our supply chain. We need to see more Green Teams at our facilities, embedding environmental considerations into our daily life so we can be more resource efficient. Performing well on these critical issues will help us in our ambition to be the global leader in the sporting goods industry.

At the adidas Group we know that performance counts and so we will measure progress against our targets and report back next year.

Thank you for your interest in our Sustainability Report.

Herbert Hainer

Chief Executive Officer,
adidas Group

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.