The adidas Group, whose brands include adidas, Reebok and TaylorMade, has partnered with bluesign technologies and committed to being 90 percent perfluorinated compound (PFC) free by June 15 and 99 percent PFC free by Dec. 31, 2017.
The company has already committed to phase out the use of long-chain PFCs by no later than Jan. 1, 2015.
The new chemicals commitments follow a Greenpeace Germany investigation that found adidas’ Predator soccer shoes contained levels of PFCs at 14 times the company’s own restriction limits.
PFCs are persistent pollutants that do not break down when released into the environment. They are bioaccumulative in wildlife and humans and have been found to be toxic in laboratory animals, producing reproductive, developmental, and systemic effects in tests, according to the EPA.
In addition to its new strategic partnership and chemical-free push, the sporting good company has also committed to disclosing 99 percent of the China-based “wet processes” on the IPE platform by the end of 2014 and to disclosing 50 percent of all wet processes across its global supply chain by no later than Dec. 31, 2015, and of at least 80 percent by no later than July 1, 2016, via the IPE Detox platform.
Bluesign technologies provides assessment tools for positive chemistry in the textile industry. The bluesign system, focused on screening and managing chemical input at supplier level, helps companies use resources more responsibly, more effectively manage restricted substances, and eliminate hazardous chemicals in the supply chain, the company says.
With this partnership, adidas suppliers across the globe will be able to access the bluefinder, a tool with information on sustainable textile chemistry for processes such as pretreatment, dyeing and finishing, resulting in the manufacturing of materials which are more sustainable. All materials produced will have to comply with rigorous tests to verify compliance with bluesign criteria.
Additionally, chemical management on site will continue to be monitored through adidas environmental audits. In 2013, the company conducted 149 environmental audits at its suppliers’ factories.
August 2011, Adidas committed itself to the goal of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals from its supply chain via all pathways, with a 2020 deadline.