Adidas is doing more than beating out Puma and Under Armour. The German athletic footwear giant won the Thomson Reuters Foundation Stop Slavery Award Wednesday, for its efforts to remove slavery from its supply chains and operations, according to a Reuters report.
This isn’t Adidas’ first time being acknowledged for ethical supply chain practices, having earned a spot at the top of KnowTheChain’s list of companies trying to rid the industry of forced labor last year.
This time, Adidas comes out on top out of a list of 15 companies as the overall winner of the award, which commends companies that work to identify, investigate and get rid of forced labor from supply chains.
The chosen companies completed a questionnaire designed with the help of law firm Baker & McKenzie, which was then assessed by an independent specialist based on anti-trafficking policies already in place at the company, according to Reuters.
“Whilst we have outsourced our production and manufacturing all over the world, we will not outsource our moral responsibility which is to do right by the 1.3 million workers who make our products,” Reuters quoted Aditi Wanchoo, senior manager of social and environmental affairs at Adidas, as saying at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s annual Trust Conference.
The award comes at a time when modern slavery is making headlines, and when fast fashion is seen as one of the causes. U.S. News reported in 2014 that Primark employees were sewing cries for help into tags of items that shoppers found in-store, shining a light on the issue of modern day slavery.
Adidas has found itself at the top of the sustainability supply chain thanks to a number of reasons, starting with its transparent audits, strong responsible sourcing guidelines and substantial number of tools to trace higher-risk supply chains in place. The company has also gone the extra mile, adding its own Workplace Standards, a code of conduct that focuses on everything from workers’ health and safety to factory conditions. Adidas also works with suppliers to ensure that everyone down the chain follows the guidelines, taking action when needed.
A whopping 40.3 million people were considered modern day slaves, including around 25 percent in forced labor, in 2016 alone, according to data from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Other companies in the running for the award included Barclays bank, Nestle and Walmart, while global fashion retailer C&A, Intel and British mutually-owned retail and services group The Co-operative Group were among the other winners of the award.