Hamburg – Sports brand adidas announced on June 11 a new roadmap towards the elimination of hazardous chemicals from its products and supply chain. In collaboration with Greenpeace’s Detox Campaign, the official World Cup sponsor has laid out a credible plan for the elimination of per-and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) and set key milestones to achieve full supply chain transparency .
“Today’s announcement represents a major step towards the toxic-free future we need. This credible approach with achievable milestones shows adidas is back onside with Detox,” says Manfred Santen, Detox Campaigner at Greenpeace Germany.
As part of the agreement, adidas will ensure 99% of all its products are PFC-free by 2017, leading to full elimination by 2020. PFCs are used in the manufacturing of clothing and shoes to keep them dirt and water resistant. However, once released, these chemicals are known to accumulate in the environment and can impact upon human health, damaging the immune and reproductive systems, as well as leading to thyroid disease.
adidas has also set ambitious goals to achieve full supply chain transparency by 2020. In line with the ‘Right-to-Know’ of local communities and the brand’s customers, adidas will publish discharge data from 99% of its Chinese suppliers by the end of 2014, 80% globally by mid-2016. The textile industry remains one of the biggest polluting sectors in China, where it is estimated that half of the rural population has no access to drinking water that meets international standards.
“This is a victory for adidas’ customers, for the local communities forced to live with toxic water pollution and for our future generations. Global brands like adidas have the power and the responsibility to help us kick out these dangerous chemicals for good,” added Santen.
adidas committed to Detox three years ago  but up to now, the brand failed to take the credible steps needed to meet its 2020 target. Over the past three weeks (leading to June 11 announcement), thousands of sports fans, volunteers and cyber-activists joined Greenpeace call on adidas to come clean, following an investigation  into hazardous chemicals in football products made by adidas, Nike and Puma. Hundreds of activists in more than 30 cities worldwide took action at adidas shops, while thousands sent letters to CEO Herbert Hainer and hundreds more joined one of the biggest ever digital Mexican Waves .
“We have once more seen the strength of people power – adidas has listened to the global call for action and accepted responsibility for its environmental footprint. With this news, adidas has regained its position as a Detox front-runner in the sports industry – the world is watching and waiting for Nike and Puma to catch up,” added Santen.
About the Detox Campaign
Greenpeace’s Detox Campaign, launched in 2011, calls on major brands to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their supply chains by 2020 and urges governments to commit to zero discharge of hazardous chemicals within one generation. Thanks to public pressure, 19 major clothing companies  have already committed to Detox and many are taking progressive steps towards their commitments. For more information, visit www.greenpeace.org/detox.
 A Red Card for Sportswear Brands: www.greenpeace.de/sites/www.greenpeace.de/files/publications/20140515-rote-karte-fuer-sportmarken-englisch.pdf