Product Safety and Transparency

Following its ambition to be transparent toward stakeholders, for years, adidas has regularly reported about its sustainability performance by measuring and disclosing the progress made toward its targets. The following presents the list of material topics within our programs and details the progress made and challenges faced in 2019.

Product safety is an imperative. As a company we have to manage the risk of selling defective products that may result in injury to consumers or impair our image. To mitigate this risk, we have company-wide product safety policies in place that ensure we consistently apply physical and chemical product safety and conformity standards. 

One of these policies is the Restricted Substances Policy (‘A-01’ Policy) that we pioneered in 1998. It covers the strictest applicable local requirements and includes best-practice standards as recommended by consumer organizations. The policy is updated and published internally and externally at least once a year based on findings in our ongoing dialogue with scientific organizations, and it is mandatory for all business partners. To ensure successful application of the policy across the business, we have established a Product Safety and Compliance workspace that serves as a platform for all employees involved in product creation by providing them with the necessary information and guidance to develop, produce and distribute products according to international regulations and best-practice standards. Both our own quality laboratories and external institutes are used to constantly monitor material samples for compliance with our requirements. Materials that do not meet our standards and specifications are rejected. As a result of our ongoing efforts, we did not record any product recalls in 2019.

Over the last years, we have substantially contributed to the AFIRM Restricted Substances List that harmonizes Restricted Substances Lists across the industry. In 2019, the list was further developed to include a corresponding test matrix that will help to establish the list as the globally accepted standard in our industry. We also continued our participation in several major public stakeholder consultation processes initiated by the European Commission (e.g. European Chemicals Agency) and US state legislative initiatives to inform governmental entities on implications and opportunities of drafted legislation.