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Adidas, Nike, And Puma Commit To Zero Discharge

by Jean-François Tremblay
September 12, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 37

In response to a challenge posed by the environmental group Greenpeace, sportswear makers Adidas, Nike, and Puma have committed to eliminating all hazardous chemical discharges throughout their supply chains by 2020. Adidas, the last of the three to make the promise, says it took longer to commit to the goal because it wanted to coordinate efforts with others so that environmental responsibility does not turn into a competition. Adidas claims that the pledge will not be difficult to meet because it already sources from companies that comply with its tough environmental requirements. In the future, Adidas says, it will completely phase out use of bioaccumulative and hormone-disrupting substances, including nonylphenol ethoxylate surfactants, in tandem with other sports apparel companies. The firm will also work with others to develop a harmonized system of classifying and labeling chemicals used in sportswear manufacturing. Greenpeace describes Adidas’ pledge as “great news for our environment, our rivers, and the millions of people in China and elsewhere who depend on rivers for drinking water and agriculture.” The activist group will now pressure other clothing makers that depend on external suppliers.


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