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Adidas to Use Only Bluesign-Approved Chemicals

Athletic apparel and equipment giant, Adidas, has said it will only use Bluesign-approved chemicals throughout its supply chain in the future, in order to improve its sustainability.

Bluesign Technologies works by assessing chemicals, checking for toxicity and environmental harm throughout the entire production process. Adidas said it will assess the amount of Bluesign-approved chemicals its suppliers currently use, starting with its strategic suppliers, then set targets for suppliers to switch to using only these chemicals. Adidas will also train its suppliers and adapt its production processes to achieve this goal.

With this change, when the suppliers choose chemicals to use they will be choosing from an assortment of pre-approved chemicals, which Adidas says, provides the company with “a greater degree of assurance.”

The two companies joined forces in June to manage the chemicals in Adidas’ supply chain and boost its sustainable solutions.

Beyond assessing the chemicals, Bluesign also classifies each chemical in a database for the company’s convenience based on three colors, blue, grey and black. Blue meaning all criteria is met, grey is for chemicals only to be used under certain conditions and black, do not use.

With the help of Bluesign, Adidas hopes better, safer chemicals will make for a better overall product.

Also in June, in collaboration with Greenpeace’s Detox campaign, Adidas revealed a roadmap to eliminate per-and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) and set key milestones to achieve full supply-chain transparency. As part of the agreement, Adidas will ensure 99 percent of its products are PFC-free by 2017, leading to full elimination by 2020.

Frank Henke, vice president social and enivormental affairs at Adidas, said, “Sporting goods companies face many common issues, often complex and technical ones such as managing the chemicals used in manufacturing products. So it makes sense to join forces with other parties in the industry to tackle them.”

Adidas said it plans to achieve full supply-chain transparency by 2020. The company will publish discharge data from 99 percent of its Chinese suppliers by the end of this year, and 80 percent globally by mid-2016 as part of Greenpeace’s “Right-to-Know” initiative.