At the adidas Group, we are constantly working towards reducing the environmental footprint of our own operations. For this, the Green Company initiative was set up, whereby environmental targets were identified for different aspects – including energy, water, paper and waste disposal. Under this initiative, we are regularly planning and implementing ’green’ improvements in and around the workplace.
ISO 14001 is an Environmental Management System standard that we use within the adidas Group to keep track of our Green Company targets. As part of this, we set up an environmental programme to take care of the environmental aspects at selected sites. After implementing and cross-checking the measures, we get an external organisation (TÜV Rheinland) to verify whether we have met our targets.
adidas has twelve globally certified green locations
Currently, the adidas Group has twelve sites that are globally certified. This is a great achievement, if you think that we only had seven certified sites when we started the programme back in 2010. We have been able to almost double the number of sites certified, which is clear proof that our environmental management system is alive, growing and healthy.
As part of the re-certification procedure, a number of sites were audited. Several people who ensure that the environmental management system works properly were with the external auditors, and the final phase even included an interview with Mr. Hainer, the adidas Group CEO.
The re-certification process is quite a lengthy one. It might sound easy, but there is actually a lot of work happening behind the scenes, like implementing the procedures to ensure we are all working in the same way, motivating employees, e. g. set up a voluntary Green Team at each site or make sure the required and necessary documentation is available and working.
As an example, we run an internal campaign to engage employees and inform them about how they can act green in the office.
Ensuring a green business
Among the projects I am particularly proud of, I would definitely mention the No-Waste cups, which are made from the ‘left-overs’ of paper production and can be re-used up to 200 times if returned via the designated cup collectors.
Or the installation of an electrical fuel station at the company’s Headquarters in Herzogenaurach (Germany), which will be soon followed by two more, one in the newly built employee parking area and one at the Outlet store, always in proximity of the company’s Headquarters.
Of course, there are also a few challenges along the way. Electricity is one, for example, and we constantly work to ensure we can reduce our consumption – by turning off the lights or switching off computers when not in use.
All this work paid off, as four new sites were ISO 14000 certified, and this is Manchester Stockport (administration, headquarters UK), Manchester Trafford Park (Trafford Distribution Centre, UK), Scheinfeld II (European Distribution Centre, Germany) and Uffenheim (Distribution Centre, Germany).
I am confident that all these efforts will enable us to further reduce our company’s environmental footprint while also taking advantage of the resources we will be able to save.
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