To celebrate Earth Day, and to underscore its ongoing commitment to sustainability, the adidas Group announced that plastic shopping bags will be removed from its own retail stores globally. The switch to paper bags will be implemented immediately, with Russia and Kazakhstan following in June 2016.
Additionally, over the last year, the adidas Group has worked closely with its partners, resulting in the vast majority of its franchisees committing to paper bags by the end of June 2016.
This means every year the adidas Group will eliminate approximately 70 million plastic shopping bags across more than 14,000 retail stores globally. This translates to 3 million plastic shopping bags in the United States and more than 2 million plastic bags in Germany.
“Phasing out shopping plastic bags is part of our wider effort to constantly increase the use of more sustainable materials in our production, products and stores, as we recently announced with our newly launched 2020 Sustainability Strategy ‘Sport needs a space’,” saysRoland Auschel, Member of the Executive Board, responsible for Global Sales. “However, there is even more to it than that. Our store staff has been trained on the importance of taking consumers on this journey with us; we will therefore ask consumers if they really need a paper bag before we give one away. Reducing the number of bags we produce also means minimising our environmental footprint and helps us to become an even more sustainable company.”
The plastic shopping bag phase-out initiative started one year ago, when the company announced its partnership with Parley for the Oceans. As a founding member, adidas supports Parley for the Oceans in its education and communication efforts, as well as its comprehensive Ocean Plastic Programme (A.I.R., Avoid, Intercept, and Redesign) that intends to end plastic pollution of the oceans. On top of phasing out plastic bags, the adidas Group has taken concrete steps to reduce its use of virgin plastic such as:
- Ended the use of plastic microbeads across all body care products by December 31, 2015.
- Eliminating plastic bottles in meetings at its headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany as of Q3 2015.
The adidas Group’s programme is regularly recognised by leading socially responsible investment rating agencies, such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and the FTSE4Good Index. In 2015, for the 16th consecutive time, the adidas Group was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. Again, at the beginning of 2016, the adidas Group ranked fifth among ‘The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World’, as announced by media and investment advisory company Corporate Knights at the World Economic Forum.