Approach to Human Rights

adidas recognizes its responsibility to respect human rights and the importance of managing the appropriate due diligence to fulfill this obligation as a business. We do this by striving to operate responsibly along the entire value chain, by safeguarding the rights of our own employees and those of the workers who manufacture our products through our Workplace Standards, and by applying our influence to affect change wherever human rights issues are linked to our business activities. Since its inception in 1997, our human and labor rights program for our supply chain has been built on the back of intense stakeholder outreach and engagement, seeking to understand and define the most salient issues to address as a company.

Throughout 2019, we engaged with a broad spectrum of human and labor rights advocacy groups, working collaboratively with the FLA and calling on the Cambodian government to address ongoing human rights topics, which ultimately triggered a review of the EU’s trade preferences for the country. Together with other stakeholders, we have maintained a seat on FIFA’s Independent Advisor Board on Human Rights, providing input and recommendations to FIFA on the hosting of the 2022 Qatar World Cup. We undertook investigations to address allegations of forced labor in the cotton supply chain in Xinjiang in Northwest China and have been working diligently, in partnership with other brands and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), to strengthen BCI’s performance standard for forced labor. Finally, we have continued to support UNICEF in its effort to develop a practical tool for integrating child rights into a responsible sourcing framework and published our own approach to incorporating children’s rights across our business operations.

As part of its human rights efforts, back in 2016, adidas developed a modern slavery outreach program that particularly looks beyond strategic suppliers at a Tier 1 level to gain greater transparency in its supply chain. A set of policies, including a Modern Slavery Policy, a Responsible Recruitment Policy and a Responsible Sourcing and Purchasing Policy, drive our practices in this area. In 2019, we continued to address modern slavery risks at those suppliers that fall outside of our mainstream auditing activities and added Tier 2 suppliers in the United Kingdom, a country previously deemed low risk, to our audit coverage. We further supported multi-stakeholder initiatives aimed at uncovering potential threats in raw material sourcing, e.g. in cotton sourcing in Turkey or rubber sourcing in Vietnam. adidas has become a signatory to the American Apparel Footwear Association and FLA pledge on responsible recruitment and is testing current practices in high-risk migrant corridors, working closely with suppliers in receiving countries and recruitment agencies in sending countries. In 2019, adidas communicated its zero recruitment fee directive to all business partners globally. Lastly, our due-diligence efforts have expanded to include risk assessment training programs for our licensees.

Do you know our Core Belief?

More on Corporate Strategy