Adidas’ global strategy includes Better Cotton and a host of other environmental initiatives.
According to Sustainable Business Oregon, Adidas AG has announced a global strategy to reduce its environmental footprint by 15% by 2015. A big portion of the change will come from utilizing sustainable cotton as part of the Better Cotton Initiative, increasing by 40% all its cotton consumption by 2015 before going all in by 2018.
Frank Henke, Adidas’ director of social and environmental affairs, told Sustainable Business Oregon in an interview: “We think that supporting this approach helps us to mainstream the sustainability agenda within the global cotton market.”
As a founding member of the BCI, Adidas, as well as other well-known brands including Levi’s, Gap, and Marks And Spencer aim to reduce the usage of pesticides used in traditional cotton farming as well as employ effective means of tending crops with efficient water use, crop rotation and sound working conditions.
Better Cotton is not to be confused with sustainable cotton, fair trade cotton or organic cotton, designations specific to cotton produced without pesticides, genetic modification, or with fair labor involved, yet Better Cotton accounts for 1.3% of global cotton production and includes pieces of each. The main incentive for Adidas to lessen their carbon footprint is to grow cotton in a way that will help alleviate the stress on the local environment and improve the livelihoods and welfare of farming communities.
Other environmental reductions Sustainable Business Oregon highlights include Adidas incorporating a 50 percent reduction in the amount of colors used within the Adidas Sports Performance division by 2015, excluding colors required by clubs outfitted by the brand, A 10 percent to 15 percent drop in energy emissions by product output at core suppliers by 2015, a 20 percent drop in energy consumption, 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions, 20 percent water savings per employee and 25 percent waste reduction per employee by 2015.