Responsibility in production
Decathlon and the environnemental impact of its suppliers
Regarding the environmental impact of its suppliers, DECATHLON works on supporting them by requesting in particular that its suppliers concerned by the disposal of industrial waste water comply with specifications and ensure the challenges of dealing with pollution are respected.Our suppliers are now assessed according to an environmental audit checklist (A, B or C according to the pollution risk they present) and the teammates in the production offices are trained and managed to ensure these requirements are respected everyday.
You can find all the details of this environmental support program HERE.
Where to find code of conduct for your suppliers ?
How Decathlon deals with quality problems?
If, despite the numerous checks done during the different design, then manufacturing phases, the quality of a product available in store is defective or if there are any doubts, several solutions are considered to protect the user and ensure compliant products are put back on sale as soon as possible: Sent to Defective is an indicator.
It is important that our users bring or send back their defective products to help us improve their quality. Some are sent straight to our design teams for analysis: by being proactive, our teams can decide with full knowledge of the facts what corrective actions are necessary (product withdrawal, repair, product returns to the supplier, destroy or recall it if the product is not satisfactory from a quality or safety perspective).
Product returns are really vital to build up information on what causes non-quality and continuously improve our product quality.
More info HERE.
How can DECATHLON produce a backpack for only 3 euros?
What makes DECATHLON stand out is it’s ability to control its whole activity chain. We are a sports goods distributor and designer. Our teams, therefore, work at designing, close to manufacturing sites, in warehouses, on logistics flows, all the way to DECATHLON stores.
This distinctive feature lets us save costs at each stage to make our products accessible to the greatest number of people.
To reduce our costs on this product, we innovated by producing it with only one seam. A single seam is just one manufacturing step, less material used, and therefore a reduction in manufacturing and transport costs, which we pass on to our consumers in the form of a lower price.
This bag is actually made by different suppliers mainly established in China, but also in Vietnam.
How are paid workers at Decathlon suppliers?
The minimum legal wage is set by a country, a province, a state, a convention and all employees working in these territories received it.
The decent or vital living wage is one that enables the worker and their family to live decently. It must cover food, health, education, clothing and transport costs as well as savings and leisure. There is no universal standard. In the vast majority of countries, including western countries, the living wage is considered decent when it is above the legal minimum wage.
Certain NGOs such as Asia Floor Wage and the Living Wage Foundation, which are recognised for their expertise on this issue, have set a few decent living wage standards based on their own methodology, of which these are a few examples:
China: minimum wage = €260 / decent living wage = 517€
Bangladesh: minimum wage = €61 / decent living wage = 336€
Since 2017, the minimum wage in Bangladesh has increased to each €85 in January 2019
Great Britain:minimum wage = £7.83 / decent living wage = £9
What is DECATHLON doing?
DECATHLON checks that its suppliers, whatever country they are in, pay a living wage that is greater or equal to the national or local minimum legal wage in the sector or the collective bargaining agreement, and at the hourly and monthly level.
DECATHLON also checks that all the benefits satisfying essential needs such as social security, paid holiday, leave for health or family reasons, which are set out in local Law, are properly complied with.
If complementary benefits (and non-compulsory under the law) are put in place by the employer in agreement with the personnel (ex: health insurance, bonuses, shareholding), DECATHLON checks their implementation during their social responsibility audits.
The wage must be paid directly to the employee. Any disciplinary measure in the form of deductions is strictly prohibited.
What are the working conditions at your suppliers?
At the end of 2018, our products were made in 47 countries, where national standards and regulations in force for health and safety, employment law and environmental impacts vary and where the challenges identified by the intergovernmental organisations(International Labour Organisation, OCDE…) are taken into account.
In this context, our responsibility is to ensure – thanks to our teams on the ground and to our regular audits – that the working conditions comply with the regulations and requirements of our Conduct of Code, whatever the manufacturing location, with regards to the following issues:
-human rights: living wage, child labour, forced labour, freedom of association, discrimination, etc.
-health and safety: chemical hazards prevention, fire safety, working environment, building safety, workstation safety, and if provided people’s housing and transport etc…
-respect for the environment: prevent direct pollution (water, air, soil) around our manufacturing sites.
-corruption: we adopt a zero tolerance approach with regards to corruption and insider influence.
How does Decathlon fight against child labour?
Does Decathlon have a Policy concerning the choice and inspection of subcontractors ?
We think that it is important to establish the criteria of requirements for our subcontractors, as well as ensure these are complied with on the ground.
That is why we directly locate in-house teams dedicated to and trained in audit techniques in manufacturing areas.These in-house experts are also given the assignment of training our manufacturing teams who visit our subcontractors on a daily basis. The in-house training enhances the support given to subcontractors in implementing improvement plans.
We want our teams to conduct 85% of working conditions audits, with the remaining ones being performed by external auditors. Meetings are regularly organised between Decathlon teams and those of external auditors to discuss and harmonises practices.
More info HERE
Why Decathlon choose to train its own team to evaluate working conditions on site ?
Since 2002, we have been conducting a responsible purchasing policy entitled “Production Social Responsibility” (PSR). It aims to improve working conditions in the supply chain and increase the safety of the men and women that manufacture the products, which for Decathlon is a priority.
The strength of this policy is down to the training of in-house teams that rigorously evaluate the subcontractors. The associated tools (charter, code of conduct, assessment checklist, …) are updated as regularly as is necessary in order to meet the new worldwide challenges, opportunities and risks.
What is Decathlon policy in terms of toxicology and chemical substances?
Since 2007, a specific team of seven persons at DECATHLON manage chemical hazards and see to the identification of hazardous substances, tolerance thresholds, as well as monitoring frequency. This team makes sure that quick and detailed answers are provided to users questions regarding potential chemical hazards linked to the use of DECATHLON sports goods.
Our aim is based on the following assessment: not all users have the same type of sensitivity to certain components. So if the vast majority of our sports users have no reaction, we work as best we can to support the few people affected by hypersensitivity and allergies. We are conscious that there is no such thing as zero risk. For this reason, we required the highest degree of transparency regarding the composition of our materials, as well as effective and personalised support for each reported case of allergy.
DECATHLON sports goods comply with product safety for our sports users beyond the requirements of European standards. We put great importance on better protecting human health and preserving the environment against the hazards linked to chemical substances.
More info HERE.
Which are the restricted substances at DECATHLON?
PFCs, is still an issue:
With PFCs being part of “extremely worrying” substances according to the European Chemical Agency, the “clothing” process, “heavy stitching” and “footwear” teams have made good progress in developing their PFC Free solutions. Moreover, the “Mountain” activity hub has reiterated its commitment made in 2016: “removal from their clothing products by 2020”.
A general analysis regarding sensitizing and irritating substances:
The general population is nowadays more and more allergic. The quite exhaustive regulations regarding CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic, reprotoxic) substances, are less so regarding allergenic substances. Moreover, we aim to take our users’ protection further by studying several allergenic substances in order to integrate them into the next version of RSL67, for example isothiazolinone.
Currently, over 5% of the population could be sensitized by isothiazolinone. Recognised as being highly allergenic, in other words, in prolonged contact with the skin Isothiazolinone can cause allergic skin reactions.These substances are regulated in all consumer products, but we have integrated them in our 2018 RSL in order to monitor their presence in all our clothing and leather products.
The restricted substances list is available HERE.
Which DECATHLON products benefit from an eco-design approach?
Recycled polyester or cotton, dry dyeing, organic cotton, PVC free… In 2019, 550 DECATHLON products benefited from an eco-designed approach with the aim of reducing their environmental impact. At DECATHLON, eco-design means reducing the product’s impact by 20% without deteriorating its functions of use.
Discovering the list of DECATHLON products having benefited from an eco-design approach ICI
What is environnemental labelling ?
Environmental labelling corresponds to a product’s environmental performance, which is symbolised by an A,B,C,D,E rating (A being the best rating). It helps to compare products of the same type with each other (T-shirt, trousers, backpacks, etc.). For this reason, the environmental impacts are calculated using 5 criteria: global warming, resource depletion, sea pollution, freshwater pollution and air pollution. These impacts are assessed throughout the whole life cycle, and each phase has impacts. Each product subsequently gets a value for the different indicators then an overall rating will be displayed on the internet and in store.
More info HERE.
What Decathlon does to improve cotton supply?
In three different ways:
- By progressively replacing conventional cotton in Decathlon products by the use of cotton from more responsible sources of supply: BCI, recycled cotton and organically grown cotton.
- By means of a code of conduct formalising the requirements regarding working conditions, human rights, respect for the environment for suppliers and by regularly checking the latter for compliance. These requirements ban in particular forced labour, and the purchase of cotton sourced from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
- Actively taking part in studies with international organisations (OCDE, DAEI… ) aiming to set out best practices for the clothing sector.
Why support Better Cotton Initiative?
For the purposes of environmental impact reduction, improving living conditions and controlling cotton sourcing, we think that rolling out the use of BCI (Better Cotton Standard System) cotton in addition to organically grown cotton and recycled cotton is an appropriate response to progressively replacing the use of conventional cotton.
As the Gujarat project demonstrated, the BCI system helps to better manage water consumption, more responsible use of chemical products and improve working conditions.
The Better Cotton Standard System is for the moment based on a “mass balance” traceability system, with the objective of encouraging cotton trading and supporting the development of agricultural practices in compliance with BCI standards.
We are in favour of reinforcing measures to guarantee more targeted traceability. In the absence, to date, of more effective processes, we support this initiative like do a large number of retailers, voluntarily committed to this program.
What is your position about cotton from Central Asia?
Following revelations about forced labour in Uzbekistan during 2005-2006 (among other by NGOs such as IRLF and the Environmental Justice Foundation), we have asked our suppliers, since 2007, to sign a letter committing them to ban the use of cotton, sourced from Uzbekistan, in our products.
Our new code of conduct, released in 2017, also includes a ban on cotton originating from Turkmenistan, in addition to Uzbekistan.
About the use of down in our products
We use down as part of products intended for extreme cold, for its thermal insulation, lightweight and compact products benefits. Knowing where the feathers come from and how the animals, which they come from, are treated is a vitally important question to Decathlon.
This is why we work with suppliers that respect animal welfare (no mistreatment of animals, or forced feeding) of geese and ducks. They are also committed to not live plucking. These animals were farmed for their meat and culled before the collection of down and feathers.
All our feathers and down, therefore, come from the Chinese agri-food industry.
Some of our brands, such as FORCLAZ, are starting to adopt this year the RDS (Responsible Down Standard) certification approach to all its products containing down.
Do you use fur of animal origin to design your products?
At Decathlon, no product contains fur of animal origin.
Do you have vegan products ?
DECATHLON has not established an overall strategy for selling a range of vegan clothing. Nevertheless, some of our brands are taking initiatives in this direction: DOMYOS and APTONIA have, subsequently, developed vegan protein bars and vegetarian freeze-dried meals. A vegan protein powder is due to come out in 2020.