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Adidas joins Nike, PUMA in 'zero discharge' pledge

Adidas joins Nike, PUMA in 'zero discharge' pledge

Posting in Sustainability

The three giant sports apparel companies plan to participate in an industry efforts to improve water management, chemicals reduction throughout their global supply chains.

Sports apparel make Adidas has joined its on-the-rack rivals Nike and PUMA in pledging to focus more closely on the water management and toxic materials policies of its global supply chain partners, particularly those in China.

All three companies have been the subject of a Greenpeace marketing campaign intended to highlight what the environmental organization believes are questionable discharge strategies used by certain textile miles and production facilties in China. Greenpeace is seeking nothing less than a "zero discharge" policy from all of these companies.

Adidas may have taken the longest to respond formally, but the company said it has been working on toxic chemicals reduction for more than 15 years. The company has also committed to changing its cotton sourcing practices: it is aiming for 100 percent "sustainable cotton" by 2018.

In its statement released in late August, Adidas noted:

"Greenpeace’s Detox campaign has been characterized as a competition among brands. The simple truth, however, is that there can be no 'winners' unless the industry acts together. With that objective in mind, the adidas Group has together with other brands been working tirelessly in recent weeks to bring the industry together in a forum to develop a roadmap that will address the “zero discharge” challenge that Greenpeace has posed. That forum is planned to be held at the end of September in Amsterdam."

So expect to hear more specifics on the industry-charged initiative later this month.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure