Rolling out environmental management

In 2017, we had used the equivalent of all of the natural resources the Earth can renew in a whole year by 2 August. Overuse of our ecosystems and the emission of greenhouse for manufacturing and economic development paradoxically endangers human activity as a whole. In addition, according to a 2016 World Health Organisation report, pollution causes 3.2 to 7 million deaths each year around the world. We need to address all the challenges related to the production of Decathlon products: the use of natural resources, industrial pollution of water, soil and air, the impact of the waste we produce and its effect on global warming and the health of local populations.

As part of our commitment to Responsibility in Production, Decathlon targets actions as close as possible to impacts, in particular by asking any suppliers who produce industrial wastewater to comply with a specific set of requirements and to respect anti-pollution measures.

Suppliers are now evaluated using environmental audit criteria (receiving an A, B or C score depending on their pollution risk) and our teammates at production sites are trained and encouraged to ensure that these requirements are met on a day-to-day basis.

Environmental management in figures
as for 31/12/2017

2017 Summary

We are rolling out the Greenway environmental audit project to identify our suppliers’ water, soil and air pollution risks.

We are closely monitoring suppliers who received an “E” score based on our audit criteria and we are committed to finding rapid solutions in the event of a problem.

We are increasing the number of opportunities for production sites to exchange good practices to increase their autonomy, allow them to take responsibility and encourage them to replicate effective solutions.

Project greenway, bringing our ambitions to life

In 2017, a new initiative, entitled Greenway was launched to help prevent our suppliers’ pollution risks.This project focuses on protecting water, air and soil resources:

– Water pollution: Ensure that industrial wastewater respects Decathlon’s standards. When local standards and our specifications differ, we respect the stricter criteria.

– Air pollution: Ensure that we do not emit hazardous particles into the air.

– Soil pollution: Ensure that hazardous waste is not leached by rain and does not damage the water tables that are used for drinking water.

Environmental audits

Environmental audits allow us to analyse a situation we observe based on criteria developed by our in-house teams.

The findings of our audits are used to assign a score to each supplier:

A Exemplary: Anticipation of risks

B Effective systems: Effective risk management

C Consolidation: Risk management system under construction

D Basic: Risk of pollution within six months

E Unacceptable: Confirmed pollution posing a genuine danger to the health of local residents

When the results of an evaluation do not meet our requirements (“E” score), the supplier is given six months to identify and correct the problem, with support from our on-site teams. We will not begin a new commercial relationship with any non-compliant suppliers.

In 2017, we made a priority of supporting suppliers who received an “E” score so that they could move quickly up to a “D” and then gradually improve their risk management systems. To this end we approved six trainers internally to work in China, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Africa and Europe to help suppliers improve environmental management conditions

at their sites.

Deciding to outsource environmental management audits to SGS Consulting helped make this possible, allowing us to roll out this strategy faster and increase our supplier evaluation capacity sevenfold. Our collaboration with SGS Consulting meant our teams could focus on supporting audited suppliers as they developed action plans.

Ultimately we plan to have in-house teams perform these environmental audits.

« Special “Wastewater” specifications provide a tool to guide treatment practices »

Our specifications cover most water pollution monitoring criteria. They are based on the international wastewater discharge quality standards established by the World Bank and the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals programme, whose work serves as a reference for some hazardous substances.

« Local populations and the environment »

We concentrate the bulk of our efforts on factories that use industrial processes whose potential risk of water, soil and air pollution is high because they use large quantities of water, chemicals and energy for processes such as dyeing, leather tanning, textile printing, surface treatments and metal paint processes.

Industrial wastewater volumes are a meaningful risk indicator, because the more water a plant uses, the more it generally uses chemicals and heat.

In order to prioritise our actions, we set a threshold above which an audit becomes mandatory for suppliers who use these risk-related industrial processes: more than 50 m3 of industrial wastewater needing treatment per day. We have identified about 300 suppliers for whom this is the case.

Helping our suppliers reduce their CO2 emissions

We are now getting our suppliers involved in our goal of stabilising greenhouse gas emissions by 2021. In 2017, we began an initial review and provided our partners with our Resource Advisor environmental impact calculator so that they could asses their CO2 footprint.

Our priority for 2018 is helping our 35 partner suppliers improve their practices, especially our 18 partners in China.

To make progress in reducing CO2 emissions at production sites, our approach begins with training sessions so that suppliers will be able to measure their carbon footprint independently. We will then help them implement emissions reduction action plans with a focus on energy efficiency.

Mamum Talukder RAJIB
Sharing good practices: sensible advice that works
Meeting with Mamum Talukder RAJIB

SD in Production Manager for Bangladesh

As a trainer, what do you do to support our suppliers who use dyeing processes?
In Bangladesh, we currently have 58 active suppliers (both rank 1 and rank 2). Eighteen of them underwent environmental audits in 2017.
Since this initiative began, we have explained to our suppliers the reasons for our actions – this is a priority for us.
The “wastewater colour” parameter did pose a problem because Decathlon’s requirements are much stricter than local regulations.
Even so, some of my suppliers had already set up very good wastewater treatment systems. We decided to try and copy good practices that had paid off elsewhere. We looked to factories with solid results in pollution prevention and reduction, and we applied their good practices to other factories. First we carry out a feasibility study, then we work closely with plant managers.
To what degree have these factories reduced their environmental impact?
In 2017, we identified four instances of suppliers who failed to comply with our requirements.
By working together, we were able to take immediate corrective actions, such as adding a chemical decolouration step to the wastewater treatment system.
Long-term measures were also put into place and these have begun to make a difference by reducing operating costs and increasing efficiency. Factories that comply with Decathlon’s standards are better able to anticipate future local legislation, which will be stricter. They are more sustainable.