Sourcing and manufacturing

Tracking sustainable materials

One important aspect of becoming a more sustainable business is to build transparency into one's value chain - something the Sourcing and Social and Environmental Affairs teams within the adidas Group have been working on intensively for the last couple of years.

As part of this effort, the Sourcing group has recently introduced an online tool called 'String' that tracks sustainable materials and products used in our apparel business.

Tayfun Kahraman from our Liaison Office (LO) in Istanbul explains more: "String allows Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers to upload their batch level information into their account so that as LO staff we will be able to see all the details and certification belonging to each specific batch and purchase order."

During 2010 'String' was presented to Tier 1 manufacturers (T1) and Tier 2 material suppliers (T2) at meetings in Bangkok and Shanghai. Attendees included strategic suppliers from Thailand, Indonesia, China and Taiwan with presentations from Tayfun Kahraman and systems vendor Simon Chen from Historic Futures Ltd.

The meetings aimed to explain how the system worked and register T1 and T2 suppliers and LO staff as system users. One attendee at the meeting was Macmillan Warangkana, Materials Manager from our LO in Thailand: "'String' is a user-friendly system which gives us visibility on the supply chain information of various sustainability products. 'String' is also sustainable itself as it helps to reduce the need for numerous paper documents."

After the meeting, 29 suppliers as well as a staff member from each LO registered for the system which is well used now. There are also plans to develop it further.

Tayfun Kahraman again: "At the moment we are concentrating on apparel products using sustainable materials such as recycled polyester and organic cotton. In the future, we could extend the programme to other suppliers making other sustainable products."

Read more about 'String'.

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.