Q&A with adidas

adidas has been a BCI Retailer and Brand Member since 2010. We caught up with Ebru Gencoglu, Senior Manager, Merchandising and Sustainability, to find out more about the organisation’s aims, commitments to Better Cotton, and how they communicate their work to the rest of the world.


adidas is close to reaching its target of sourcing 100% of its cotton from more sustainable sources. How has BCI supported adidas in reaching this ambitious target?

BCI and adidas have worked closely from the beginning to reach this ambitious goal. BCI has engaged actors throughout the supply chain to enable the right amount of supply in the right locations. Led by clearly defined KPIs, BCI has kept the focus on expanding the supply of Better Cotton. This has helped our suppliers to source cotton as Better Cotton, which allowed us to ramp up sourcing in a short period of time.


How does adidas’ Better Cotton sourcing target form part of the organisations’ broader sustainability strategy?

We believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives. And we do this every day as a company – by empowering people to live an active life, by teaching life skills through sport, and by creating sustainable products. Our sustainability strategy is deeply rooted in this core belief and as such, our strategic priorities for 2020 are based on products and people. As part of our product ambitions, we strive to develop innovative materials and processes that optimise our environmental impact. We are committed to steadily increasing the volumes of more sustainable materials we source. The Better Cotton Initiative is one example of how we plan to achieve this.


Why is it important for adidas to communicate with its customers about its commitments to Better Cotton?

As a large organisation, we have the opportunity – the obligation and capability – to change how things are done. We are a company that integrates sustainability into our business model. It is important for us that our consumers are clear about our commitment and how we are delivering it.


As a pioneering BCI Member, what key sustainability changes have you seen the industry address over the past 10 years?

Things have changed quickly over the past several years. Consumers are interested and demanding that we take action when it comes to both social and environmental compliance. We are able to collaborate more and more with supply chain players to innovate and find new solutions. Transparency in the supply chain also keeps improving, enabling companies to choose the right business partners. We are still at the beginning of a long journey when it comes to sustainability. We need to recognise that this is not a sprint but a marathon. Setting the right foundation, however, will be essential to reaching the finishing line.


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Pioneer member adidas Group exceeds 2015 Better Cotton target

BCI Pioneer member adidasannounced that in 2015 the company sourced 43% of all its cotton as Better Cotton, exceeding the originally planned 40% target. This marks the highest volume in sustainable cotton used in the company’s history.

”As a pioneer member, the adidas Group has been involved with the Better Cotton Initiative from the very beginning. It is exciting to see how Better Cotton is becoming a sustainable mainstream commodity and we will continue to increase the amount of sustainable cotton we use over the coming years,” says Frank Henke, adidas Group VP, Social and Environmental Affairs.

Upon this milestone, BCI applauds adidas’s achievement and celebrates the work of all its members. To date, BCI has over 700 members sourcing and supplying Better Cotton at all stages of the textile supply chain. Led by a group of pioneering organisations, BCI’s members can be proud of their efforts to make a responsible alternative the mainstream norm.

”We are very proud of the work we do with our members. Their commitment to BCI is extremely important to us, as it helps support the work of our farmers and drives demand for Better Cotton throughout the supply chain,” says Paola Geremicca, BCI Programme Director of Fundraising and Communications.

As a BCI Pioneer member, adidas has committed to source 100 percent “more sustainable cotton’ across all product categories in all its brands by 2018.

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Better Cotton Members’ among the ”World’s Most Sustainable Corporations”

BCI Retailer and Brand members’ the adidas Group, Marks and Spencer and H&M all featured in the the “Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (Global 100 Index),’ announced during the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Global 100 Index is an extensive data-driven corporate sustainability assessments and is based on quantitative sustainability indicators covering economic, environmental as well as social aspects. The Global 100 Index has been recognised as a leader in transparency and industry best practices for sustainability rankings.

With the adidas Group ranking third among the world’s leading companies, Herbert Hainer, adidas Group CEO commented: ”We are absolutely excited about the recognition our sustainability efforts are receiving. The nomination as one of the world’s most sustainable companies underlines the great work our teams have been doing over the last years and the positive impact we have made. Through our work, we will continue to push boundaries as we strive to lead the way towards a sustainable future for our company and the entire industry,”

The World Economic Forum’s “Scaling Sustainable Consumption’ initiative is an ongoing project committed to the examining how to provide sustainable options for the consumers of the future, and includes the annual announcement of the Global 100 Index at the Forum’s meeting in Davos. The initiative explores challenges and solutions for leaders to define their sustainability strategies through the lens of:

– ”Consumer engagement (demand)”
– ”Value chains and upstream action (supply)”
– ”Policies and an enabling environment to accelerate change (rules of the game)”

Read more about the “Scaling Sustainable Consumption’ initiative here.

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adidas Exceeds Better Cotton Target in 2013 Sustainability Report

BCI Pioneer member, adidas, have released their 2013 sustainability report, entitled “Fair Play’. The report details their progress in sustainable materials use and in supplier audits and makes specific reference to their achievements using Better Cotton to date. Highlights include:

» adidas surpassed its goal of using 15% Better Cotton by 2013, sourcing more than 23 percent of all cotton as Better Cotton.

» By the end of 2013, adidas saved 50 million litres of water using the new technology “DryDye’ fabricin its production.

» Energy management trainings sessions delivered a reduction in consumption at supplier level.

As a BCI Pioneer member, adidas have committed to source 100 percent of cotton across all product categories in all its brands as “more sustainable cotton’ by 2018. Read the report in full by clicking here.

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The Adidas Group’s commitment to Better Cotton

Publication from the Adidas Group Blog. June 2013.

As a pioneer member, the Adidas Group have been involved with the Better Cotton Initiative from the very beginning.The Adidas Group is also one of the funding private partners of BCI.To achieve their target of 100% sustainable cotton by 2018, Adidas have set incremental annual targets for the quantity of “Better Cotton’ that will be used: 5% by 2012; 40% by 2015; 100% Sustainable Cotton by 2018.

With all the hard work and excitement, together with their supplier base, Adidas hit their target of 5% in 2012. This will be a strong foundation going forward.

To read the full article, click here.

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