Adidas is returning onside. Two weeks after the FIFA World Cup sponsor received a a red card from Greenpeace for lagging behind on its commitments toward creating a toxic-free supply chain, the sportswear giant announced on Wednesday key milestones that will steer its efforts back on course. As part of the new agreement, Adidas will phase out 99 percent of all polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)—a class of environmentally persistent, hormone-disrupting chemicals used primarily to repel dirt and water in shoes and outerwear—by the end of 2017, leading up to full elimination by 2020.
The sportswear giant has agreed to provide the public with their “right to know” by publishing discharge data from 99 percent of its Chinese suppliers by the end of 2014, as well as 80 percent of its global suppliers by mid-2016, as it builds up to full supply-chain transparency by 2020.
“Today’s announcement represents a major step towards the toxic-free future we need,” says Manfred Santen, a detox campaigner at Greenpeace Germany. “This credible approach with achievable milestones shows Adidas is back onside with Detox.”
Although Adidas, along with rival companies Nike and Puma, committed to Greenpeace’s Detox plan three years ago, the environmental group says it has so far failed to take “credible steps” need to meet its 2020 target. That appears to have changed, however.
“Global brands like adidas have the power and the responsibility to help us kick out these dangerous chemicals for good,” Santen says. “With this news Adidas has regained its position as a Detox frontrunner in the sports industry—the world is watching and waiting for Nike and Puma to catch up.”