Managing sustainability

The adidas Group's social and environmental strategy is rooted in the Group's values - performance, passion, integrity and diversity. It is built on the achievements and learnings from previous years. It takes into account changes in the societal landscape, global trends and responds to our overall business development. It reflects the feedback that we have captured from our stakeholders and sets clear targets we are striving to achieve.

Our strategy defines primary and core business areas where we dedicate our attention, efforts and resources:

  • Embedding environmental sustainability in all products, processes and services to significantly improve our environmental impact across our value chain and to positively contribute to our business performance.
  • Effectively managing business risks and social compliance in our supply chain which is expanding, and becoming more complex with multiple relationships and stretched lines of communication and control.
  • Extending our engagement internally and externally - partnering with others to embed new thinking and better ways of collaboration within our business and along our supply chain. Working together to make a difference.
  • Creating the best and most productive workplace in the industry by becoming a champion in talent and succession management, a world-class recruiter and a Top 10 employer in every key market in which we operate.
  • Making a difference in the communities where we operate by supporting programmes that truly meet local needs.

1. Environmental sustainability

Building on several earlier environmental initiatives, in 2010 the Group's Executive Board endorsed an Environmental Strategy. To further strengthen our competitive position and our overall business performance, the Strategy aims at integrating environmental thinking into our daily operations.

The Environmental Strategy 2015 aims to substantially improve the Group's environmental footprint across every part of the Group's value chain from innovation and product design via development and manufacturing operations to our own stores and other sales channels. We have set measurable targets to be achieved by 2015 and progress against these targets will be measured on an annual basis.

Read more about the Environmental Strategy 2015.

2. Social compliance in the supply chain

Workers in our suppliers' factories play a central role in our programme. It was concern for their welfare and working conditions that led us to write our Workplace Standards and to establish a compliance management system covering all brands of the adidas Group.

Our supply chain is large, multi-tiered and varied. We have a detailed approach to managing relationships with our suppliers and we continue to develop approaches for engaging suppliers who are part of our direct and indirect supply chain.

The following areas are critical engagements in our supply chain strategy:

  • Our direct relationships with suppliers, managed by the adidas Group's Global Sourcing organisation. These suppliers account for around 75% of our sourcing business in terms of sourced units.
  • Our indirect sourcing relationships with agents and licensees.
  • Our indirect sourcing relationships with adidas Group entities which manage their own sourcing arrangements.

Read more about our compliance programme within our supply chain.

3. Stakeholder engagement

As a company we do not operate in isolation and we seek feedback from internal and external stakeholders by carefully listening, responding and engaging with them. Our engagements are with people in the company as well as externally including governments, civil society, investors, analysts, customers, and industry alliances. Various parts of the Group's sustainability programme have been developed in close consultation with stakeholders: examples are our corporate reporting and disclosure practices, review and verification of labour issues in supplier factories or addressing systemic issues to governmental bodies.

Internally, we will continue to develop appropriate and innovative ways of embedding sustainability thinking and processes within our organisation. Externally we look for innovative forms of partnerships and collaboration that drive change in the industry, and improve workplace conditions.

Find out more about how we engage stakeholders.

4. Our employees

We know that our people are crucial to our success. We strive to create a working environment that promotes team spirit, passion, engagement and achievement.

We promote a performance culture based on strong leadership and therefore link employee compensation to Group and individual achievements. We aim to continuously develop our employees with opportunities for career progression, while upholding a culture that celebrates diversity and encourages global mobility.

We also know how important it is to continue to attract and recruit new people to the adidas Group. In this so-called ‘war for talent' it is important that we become a world-class recruiter, and this ambition has led us to launch innovative programmes to raise our profile with potential employees. We aim to create a stimulating and attractive work environment as we strive to be a Top 10 employer of choice in the key markets in which we operate.

Read more about our HR programme.

5. Community affairs

As a multinational enterprise, the adidas Group is represented in many countries around the world and its business operations impact people's lives in those communities. While there are many possible ways to get involved in aid or community programmes, the challenge is to know the local needs of the communities. We therefore have chosen a largely decentralised and brand-oriented model for community involvement recognising that people in the subsidiaries best understand the needs and cultural sensitivities of their local communities. Brand programmes are managed under the Adi Dassler Fund, the Reebok Corporate Responsibility Programme and the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Charity Programme.

At Group level we continue to support our suppliers' communities as we make contributions to organisations that promote sustainable development practices within the industry.

Read more about our Community Affairs programmes.

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.