Annual Report 2023


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Sustainable Finance

The challenges posed by the impact of climate change and social developments in our societies and supply chains are huge. Responding to these will require dedicated funding of sustainability initiatives. In this section, we provide an overview on our sustainability bond as well as on our approach to complying with the requirements of the EU Taxonomy, the objective of which is to channel investments in the direction of sustainable economic activities. We will also report about responsibility regarding tax. Through taxes, governments have the monetary ability to pursue their objectives and take on the responsibility of further developing their countries.

Sustainability bond

In 2020, adidas successfully placed its first sustainability bond. Proceeds from the offering are used in accordance with the Sustainability Bond Framework we created. adidas has committed to providing annual updates on the allocation of the proceeds and the impact KPIs driven by the proceeds until fully allocated. As of September 2023, adidas had realized full allocation of the net proceeds. SEE TREASURY

The following summary outlines selected environmental and social impact KPIs in accordance with chapter 7 ‘Reporting’ of the ‘adidas Sustainability Bond Framework.’ The proceeds listed in the Allocation Report have contributed to these impact KPIs.

Sustainability bond: Impacts















Eligible category: sustainable materials







Impact of investment or expenditure into using more sustainable materials







Percentage of recycled polyester used for adidas apparel and footwear ranges







Percentage of more sustainable cotton sourced







Number of pairs of shoes produced containing ‘Parley Ocean Plastic’


> 2m


> 26m


> 17m








Eligible category: sustainable processes







Impact of investment or expenditure into improving our operations by establishing more sustainable processes







Absolute annual CO2e Scope 1 and Scope 2 net emissions (in tons) in own operations1







Number of buildings2 of own operations holding certification for environmental management (ISO 14001)/health and safety management (ISO 45001)/energy management (ISO 50001)














Eligible category: community engagement







Impact of investment or expenditure (on a global and local level) from actively supporting and positively impacting communities







Number of funded ventures for ‘Black Ambition,’ a program that supports Black and LatinX entrepreneurs in launching start-up businesses







Number of grants for Black-owned small businesses as part of ‘BeyGOOD,’ an initiative aimed at bringing equity to those disproportionately impacted by social and racial injustice







Number of scholarships granted to students at adidas’ HBCU partner schools as part of adidas’ ‘United Against Racism’ ambition








Own operations include administrative offices, distribution centers, production sites, and retail stores.


At year-end.


Grants distribution for Black-owned small businesses as part of ‘BeyGOOD,’ which is managed by a third party, postponed from 2021 to 2022.

EU Taxonomy


In 2020, the EU introduced Regulation (EU) 2020/852 to establish the EU Taxonomy framework (‘Taxonomy’). The purpose of the Taxonomy is to provide a common language and a clear definition of what is considered ‘sustainable’ to direct investments toward sustainable economic activities. The Taxonomy will thereby support the EU’s climate, energy, and ‘European Green Deal’ targets. 

The Taxonomy is a classification system for environmentally sustainable economic activities. An economic activity is considered Taxonomy-eligible if it is described in one of the delegated acts of the Taxonomy and has the potential to support the achievement of at least one of the following six environmental objectives:

  1. Climate change mitigation
  2. Climate change adaptation
  3. Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources
  4. Transition to a circular economy
  5. Pollution prevention and control
  6. Protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.

For an activity to be considered and reported as environmentally sustainable, i.e., Taxonomy-aligned, the following three prerequisites must be fulfilled:

  • Substantial contribution: The activity makes a substantial contribution to one of the environmental objectives by meeting the technical screening criteria defined for this economic activity.
  • Do no significant harm (‘DNSH’): By fulfilling further criteria, it can be demonstrated that the activity does not do significant harm to any of the other environmental objectives.
  • Minimum safeguards: The company performing the activity must have implemented and adhere to minimum safeguards relating to human rights, including labor rights, bribery/corruption, taxation, and fair competition.

Reporting scope for fiscal year 2023

The Delegated Regulation (Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2178) on Article 8 of the Taxonomy specifies the content, methodology, and presentation of information to be disclosed by financial and non-financial undertakings concerning the proportion of environmentally sustainable economic activities in their business, investments, or lending activities. With the introduction of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2139 in 2021 and its amendment in 2023 (Delegated Regulation (EU) 2023/2485), the EU clarified the conditions under which an economic activity qualifies as contributing substantially to climate change mitigation and/or climate change adaptation and for determining whether that economic activity does not cause any significant harm to any of the other environmental objectives. Furthermore, in 2023, the EU enacted the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2023/2486 establishing the Taxonomy eligibility and alignment criteria of economic activities for the remaining four environmental objectives mentioned above. However, for the first year of application, for adidas the reporting on the financial year 2023, only the proportion of Taxonomy-eligible and non-eligible activities in their total turnover (net sales), capital expenditure (‘CapEx’), and operating expenditure (‘OpEx’) KPIs need to be disclosed for the remaining four environmental objectives. For the environmental objectives of climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation, as in the prior year, it is necessary to provide information on the degree to which Taxonomy-eligible economic activities are Taxonomy-aligned and to disclose the corresponding financial KPIs. Despite the expansion of the Taxonomy disclosure requirements in 2023, the adidas core business activities, i.e., the manufacturing of textiles and footwear as well as wholesale and retail sale thereof, remain unmentioned in the delegated acts and therefore non-eligible for any of the six environmental objectives. In addition, as per Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/1214, we are required to provide specific disclosures on economic activities related to the fossil gas and nuclear energy sectors. We carried out related activities in 2023 due to the operation of a district heating plant in Germany, although, similar to 2022, not to a material extent. Thus, the detailed disclosure requirements as per Annex XII of the Delegated Regulation do not apply to adidas.

Description of adidas procedure toward compliant 2023 reporting

As in previous years, a core team within the adidas Corporate Finance area was responsible for the 2023 reporting process. The main tasks of the team were to

  • educate the functional and subject-matter experts – mainly from the Accounting, Controlling, HR Workplaces, Supply Chain, and Retail teams – on the reporting requirements, with particular focus on Taxonomy alignment criteria,
  • define, orchestrate, and lead a structured process to collect all Taxonomy-relevant information from the subject-matter experts,
  • analyze and verify reported information in terms of Taxonomy relevance, accuracy, and completeness, and
  • ensure that all new and updated Taxonomy-relevant publications that have become available throughout the course of the year are adequately reflected in this report.

Determination of Taxonomy-eligible activities

The core team reviewed the new delegated acts to the Taxonomy Regulation as they became available and analyzed the impact on the disclosure requirements compared to 2022 to ensure accuracy and completeness of our reporting. As mentioned above, while the reporting requirement covers all six environmental objectives since the beginning of 2024, the main economic activities of our business model remain out of scope, and we consequently have no turnover-generating Taxonomy-eligible activities to report on. As a result, the following eligible economic activities have been identified for 2023:

  • 6.5 Transport by motorbikes, passenger cars, and light commercial vehicles (including company car leases) 
  • 7.3 Installation, maintenance, and repair of energy-efficient equipment (e.g., LED lighting in retail stores)
  • 7.7 Acquisition and ownership of buildings (including building leases)

Assessment of Taxonomy alignment of Taxonomy-eligible activities

For Taxonomy-eligible activities at adidas, the environmental objective of climate change mitigation is applicable, not climate change adaptation, since these activities are intended to positively impact our carbon footprint. Hence, the Taxonomy-eligible activities have been assessed according to the substantial contribution and ‘DNSH’ criteria as laid out in Annex I to the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2139. Since the identified Taxonomy-eligible activities relate to the purchase of output from potentially Taxonomy-aligned activities, performing the Taxonomy assessment was dependent on the input of the relevant information from the respective third-party suppliers. Due to the expected time and resource investment necessary for assessing all individual projects and items contributing to the eligible activities, we prioritized the assessment of those individual activities that were most material in terms of value and/or were more likely to be Taxonomy-aligned due to the availability of the necessary information. 

Eligible building leases relate to warehouses/distribution centers, own retail stores, and corporate offices. The applicable substantial contribution and DNSH criteria as set out in section 7.7 of Annex I of the Delegated Regulation predominantly relate to primary energy demand and climate-related risks and adaptation solutions, respectively, in connection with the leased buildings. The substantial contribution criterion evidence which is most relevant for adidas in this regard is the existence of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) class A. Many of the eligible building leases are located outside of the EU, where this EU-centric energy performance certification is not common practice and other standards and frameworks, which are not mentioned in the Regulation, are typically used (e.g., LEED certification). In line with the generally low share of available non-residential buildings meeting these energy performance standards across our markets, only a few eligible leases in 2023 fulfill this criterion, in particular the eligible retail leases for which adidas has very limited ability to influence the design and/or (re)development, especially for mall-based stores, which is the case for many of our retail locations. In addition, certain eligible retail lease locations are heritage sites for which it is not possible to obtain EPC class A certification. However, we have certain eligible lease contracts in connection with smaller warehouse (Dubai), retail (Poland), and corporate office locations (Sweden and the Netherlands), that fulfill the substantial contribution criterion. This reflects our commitment to decarbonize our own operations as well as our more pronounced ability to influence the design and development of major real estate investments related to our operational infrastructure. SEE OWN OPERATIONS

The relevant applicable ‘DNSH’ criterion for building leases relates to the environmental objective of climate change adaptation and refers to the performance of a robust climate risk and vulnerability assessment as per Appendix A to Annex I of the Delegated Regulation. In the assessment, we prioritized the most relevant eligible activities for this DNSH criterion. Thereby, on a case-by-case basis, we approached the landlords requesting the necessary information on the one hand, and, on the other, used existing information on climate risks and corresponding adaptation solutions that is regularly gathered as part of our standard business processes (e.g., for insurance purposes). As a result, for the majority of the assessed building leases, not all information was available for a complete and conclusive assessment exactly as per the methodology and scope prescribed by the Regulation. However, one of the eligible building leases that fulfills the substantial contribution criterion also complies with the DNSH criterion and is therefore reported as Taxonomy-aligned. 

Eligible company car leases relate to the car fleet at multiple adidas locations. As per the applicable technical screening criteria mentioned in section 6.5 of Annex I, a vehicle that emits a maximum of 50g of CO2e/km is considered to make a substantial contribution to climate change mitigation. For adidas, this applies to all leased electric vehicles and most plug-in hybrid vehicles. 

Compliance with the DNSH criteria, as laid out in Annex I of the Delegated Regulation, requires the performance of a robust climate risk and vulnerability assessment, adherence of the vehicles to certain recyclability and reusability criteria, and adherence to various product-related EU regulations and directives concerning the limits of certain gaseous emissions and the external rolling noise and resistance characteristics of the vehicle tires. Assessing compliance with all these criteria requires the involvement and input of various suppliers. As a result, not all information was available for a complete and conclusive assessment as required by the Regulation. We therefore assessed the eligible car leases as not Taxonomy-aligned.

For the remaining eligible activities under section 7.3, an assessment of the Taxonomy alignment against the respective criteria laid out in Annex I of the Delegated Regulation was conducted in a structured manner as far as this was possible with reasonable effort. While the eligible activities fulfill the substantial contribution criterion, none of them are considered to be Taxonomy-aligned as a result of the non-compliance with the DNSH assessment. 

Minimum safeguards

The minimum safeguards form part of the Taxonomy alignment criteria. Their purpose is to clarify that eligible economic activities can only be environmentally sustainable when performed in circumstances which are compliant with social norms and certain minimum governance standards. In this context, companies must implement appropriate processes and procedures to avoid negative influences on or violations of the following four specific topics: human rights (incl. labor rights), taxation, corruption/ bribery, and fair competition. In order to assess adidas’ adherence to the minimum safeguards, we reviewed the Platform on Sustainable Finance’s final report to the European Commission on this matter as well as the European Commission’s clarifying FAQ document of June 2023. In summary, these documents outline the following conditions of non-compliance with minimum safeguards: 

Human rights and labor rights:

  • Lack of an adequate human rights due diligence (HRDD) process as outlined in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct, and/or
  • evidenced signals of breach of law or human rights.


  • Lack of tax governance and compliance as well as adequate risk management strategies and processes, and/or
  • evidence of tax law violation.


  • Lack of anti-corruption processes, and/or
  • cases of court conviction for corruption.

Fair competition:

  • Lack of promotion of employee awareness of the importance of complying with all applicable competition laws and regulations, and/or
  • cases of court conviction for violating competition laws.

In 2023, similar to the previous year, our subject-matter experts from the Social and Environmental Affairs, Tax, and Legal areas assessed the details of the respective criteria. The key objective of this assessment was to determine the extent to which the mentioned governance standards and policy frameworks are already embedded in adidas’ existing policies (e.g., adidas Human Rights Policy), standard operating procedures (e.g., adidas Fair Play Code of Conduct), as well as in its Compliance Management System.

As in 2022, our assessment for the fiscal year 2023 confirmed that the Taxonomy-eligible activities were performed in a manner that is fully compliant with the minimum safeguards. We maintain rigorous internal policies and oversight mechanisms to ensure ongoing adherence to these standards. 

More information on our compliance with the respective criteria can be found in this Annual Report: 

Determination and reporting of Taxonomy KPIs

  • Turnover KPI: Turnover as per the Taxonomy (denominator of the turnover KPI) is equivalent to our net sales disclosed in the consolidated financial statements in this report. In 2023, the turnover amounts to € 21,427 million (2022: € 22,511 million). The identified eligible activities at adidas were not turnover generating, resulting in a numerator value of ’0’ and, accordingly, a turnover KPI of 0% eligible and 100% non-eligible turnover. SEE INCOME STATEMENT
  • CapEx KPI: In comparison to the disclosed CapEx value of € 504 million in this report, the Taxonomy definition of CapEx results in a total value of € 838 million (denominator of the CapEx KPI) at adidas (2022: € 1,587 million). The denominator contains, in accordance with the definition of the Taxonomy and as disclosed in this report, additions to buildings, technical equipment and machinery, other equipment, furniture and fixtures, right-of-use assets, and other intangible assets, before depreciation, amortization, and remeasurements. To calculate the numerator of the CapEx KPI, we analyzed the additions in relation to the identified eligible activities as described above. In this process, we conducted several control measures, such as plausibility checks and reconciliations, to avoid double-counting of additions. In total, the corresponding numerator of the eligible CapEx KPI amounts to € 344 million (2022: € 867 million), resulting in a CapEx KPI of 41% eligible and 59% non-eligible CapEx. Most of the eligible CapEx in 2023 (89%) relates to building leases (section 7.7), which amount to € 307 million, with € 22 million eligible CapEx relating to the installation of energy efficiency equipment (section 7.3), and the remaining € 16 million eligible CapEx relating to car leases (section 6.5). While a total of € 44 million of eligible CapEx complies with the substantial contribution criteria, € 7 million of eligible CapEx are Taxonomy-aligned. In summary, the corresponding numerator of the aligned CapEx KPI amounts to € 7 million, resulting in a CapEx KPI of 1% aligned and 40% non-aligned CapEx (2022: 0% aligned and 55% non-aligned CapEx). SEE STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION AND STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS
  • OpEx KPI: The Taxonomy definition of ‘OpEx’ refers to expenditure for research and development, short-term leases, maintenance and repair, as well as certain other expenditure. In 2023, this amounts to € 969 million (denominator of the OpEx KPI) at adidas (2022: € 862 million), which compares to € 21,427 million of net sales and € 10,087 million of OpEx as per the consolidated financial statements for adidas disclosed in this report. In the context of our business model, which is the design, development, production, and marketing of a broad range of performance and sports lifestyle products, we consider the Taxonomy OpEx KPI denominator value to be insignificant. Consequently, and in line with Annex I of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2178, we report the numerator value of our Taxonomy-eligible OpEx KPI as € 0 (2022: € 0). As a result, no further information on the alignment of eligible OpEx can be provided in this Annual Report.

Full information on the Taxonomy KPIs according to Annex II of the Delegated Regulation can be found in this Annual Report. SEE EU TAXONOMY TABLES

Our commitment to sustainability is reflected in the ambitious targets and numerous initiatives that are outlined in this report. We consider the EU Taxonomy to be a potentially valuable instrument that will help us validate and adjust our sustainability ambitions over time, assuming our core business activities become eligible to contribute to the Taxonomy’s environmental objectives and a common interpretation of all aspects relevant to adidas is established. At the time of the publication of this report, it remains unclear if and by when this will be the case.

Approach to tax

We are committed to being compliant with all tax regulations in all jurisdictions in which we operate. We consider the interests of our stakeholders in the business decisions we make in order to ensure the lasting success of our company.

We do not operate through artificial structures or structure our business in ways that are intended to result in tax avoidance. Where we have a presence in so-called low-tax jurisdictions, this is related to our business activities in those jurisdictions and is not created for the purpose of minimizing our tax burden. While tax is among the many considerations in making business decisions, it is not the main driver in our decision-making process.

Tax management and governance

Given the range of activities and locations we operate in, adidas is subject to a wide range of taxes across the world, including corporate income tax, VAT/GST, employee-related taxes such as payroll and fringe benefit tax, withholding taxes, property taxes, stamp duties, and other taxes. The purpose of our tax function is to support and enable business objectives while ensuring compliance and preventing or minimizing tax risks.

The approach to tax is defined by the Vice President Corporate Tax and is reflected in the tax strategy, objectives, policies, and internal controls. Economic and social impacts are considered in developing and executing our tax strategy. The Corporate Tax team reviews our tax strategy on an annual basis, with significant changes being approved by our Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The CFO is ultimately accountable for compliance with our tax strategy.

Pursuant to our tax policies, the local Directors and Management of each legal entity are responsible for ensuring compliance with tax regulations. The local teams are supported by the company’s Corporate Tax team and tax advisers. The Corporate Tax team exercises global governance and is accountable for our approach to tax. Its main responsibility is to provide global tax advisory, to identify and manage opportunities and risks, and to ensure tax compliance worldwide. Through partnering with business functions, the Corporate Tax team aims to understand the needs and perspectives of various stakeholders internally and externally and to support business objectives while ensuring continued compliance with tax regulations. Inquiries from and communication with external stakeholders regarding our tax affairs are managed in accordance with our ‘Global Communication Guidelines.’

Our Executive Board is updated on tax matters periodically, including a risk review process every six months that also forms part of our tax governance framework. Our CFO and/or the Executive Board, advised by the Corporate Tax team, is ultimately responsible for decisions on topics such as entering into significant or one-off transactions that may give rise to an increase in tax risk (e.g., mergers and acquisitions).

Our ‘Fair Play Code of Conduct’ sets out the options available to employees who detect unlawful or unethical behavior, including anonymous notification or whistleblowing procedures. The adidas AG audit includes the audit of disclosures in respect to tax in the Consolidated Financial Statement.

Interactions with tax authorities

We seek a cooperative relationship with tax authorities. We respond to information requests, whether formal or informal, and, on a case-by-case basis, decide whether to take the initiative in communicating business developments of particular significance to the local tax authorities. During 2023 we were not involved in the public policy regarding tax law or tax law changes in any of the jurisdictions in which we operate.

Tax planning

We ensure that the tax profile of our activities is aligned with the substance of the operating structures of our business. Accordingly, transactions have commercial and economic substance, and we do not put in place arrangements that are contrived or artificial. Our ‘Transfer Pricing Policy’ requires that intragroup transactions be carried out on an arm’s-length basis. As a result, our profits are derived and taxed in the jurisdictions where value is created.

This Group Management Report is a combined management report. It contains the Group Management Report of the adidas Group and the Management Report of adidas AG.
The Declaration on Corporate Governance is part of the Annual Report.
Declaration on Corporate Governance