In 2021, for the first time, more that 60% of all adidas products will be made with sustainable materials, the company has announced. The company’s journey towards more sustainability is an ongoing one, said CEO Kasper Rorsted.
“Sustainability is an integral part of the adidas business philosophy. We have continued to invest in sustainability initiatives during the coronavirus pandemic and we will significantly expand our range of sustainable products in 2021. To this end, for example, we have worked with our suppliers to create the structures that make it possible to process recycled materials on a large scale,” he clarified.
Ranging from football jerseys made with recycled polyester to the vegan version of the iconic Stan Smith – in 2021, for the first time, sustainable materials, including recycled polyester and sustainable cotton, will be used to produce more than 60 percent of all adidas products. From 2024 onward, adidas will shift to using only recycled polyester. The company has been using only sustainable cotton since 2018. In addition, the company is continuously expanding its vegan product offer and has completely renounced the use of fur.
One of the company’s first steps on its journey was the much publicised 2015 collaboration with the environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans and the developments of the first adidas shoe made from Parley ocean plastic. Since then, adidas has produced many millions of pairs of such shoes - 15 million in 2020 - made with recycled plastic waste from beaches and coastal regions. In 2021, adidas aims to produce 17 million pairs of these shoes.
Adidas has also teamed up with footwear manufacturer Allbirds to create the world’s lowest climate footprint sports shoe. The manufacturing and transportation of this shoe are intended to include reusable materials as well as renewable energies.
Meanwhile, the company has also switched to the use of environmentally friendly energy sources at its corporate sites. Alongside several photovoltaic systems with an overall peak capacity of around 1.4 megawatts, the company operates a modern facility for combined electricity and heat generation at its headquarters in Herzogenaurach. In the Rieste distribution center (Lower Saxony), the company uses biomass for heating. The overall carbon footprint of all company sites has been reduced by more than 50 percent compared to 2015.