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Let's talk about sustainable development at DECATHLON

10 questions you may have

#1. Where do DECATHLON products come from?

Decathlon manufactures products in 43 countries around the world.

DECATHLON works with suppliers in 45 countries or regions*. Some 2,245 teammates manage production in the country or region in which they are located, and if necessary, production in neighbouring countries that do not have a DECATHLON production office. The company also owns nine production sites where it manufactures some of its products. The group is developing the “DECATHLON Manufacturing Way” network at these sites to promote operational excellence. This network enables in-house teams and partner suppliers to share ideas and draw inspiration from the best practices known to date.

Countries/regions with a Decathlon production office (team):
Africa: Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, Tunisia | Americas: Brazil, Mexico | North Asia: Mainland China, Taiwan | Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia,
Thailand, Vietnam | Southwest Asia: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka | Europe: Albania, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Turkey.

Countries/regions with a DECATHLON production office:
Africa: Morocco | North Asia: Mainland China | Southeast Asia: Thailand | Europe: France.

Countries/regions without a DECATHLON production office (team present in a neighbouring country):
Africa: Algeria, Madagascar | Americas: Canada | North Asia: Japan, South Korea | Southeast Asia: Cambodia | Europe: Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria,
Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ukraine.

10 questions you may have about DECATHLON's  sustainable development
Map of France

#2. Does DECATLON manufacture products “made in france”?

In 2019, we worked with 34 suppliers, and manufacture 3% of our products totally or partially in France. 
We also have three manufacturing or assembly sites owned DECATHLON, at HOUCHES, at LILLE and Wattrelos in France, producing goods intended for climbing, cycling and footwear products.
Decathlon is also an international company that sells products all around the world. Just like “Made in France”, “Made in China” is important in the eyes of our 60 million Chinese users.

Pictogramme hanger

#3. Why is plastic used to deliver goods in store?

DECATHLON's goal is to achieve 95 % renewably sourced packaging by 2025.

Every day, deliveries in stores, certain goods arrive wrapped up, stuffed with paper, or packaged in different types of plastics. The packaging's purpose is to ensure the customer receive the product in perfect condition, even after having travelled hundreds and even thousands of miles to get to the store. A damaged product often actually finishes up being binned or is marked down!

In 2023, the teams set themselves the target of achieving a 60% reduction in single-use plastics (sales packaging, packaging used to transport finished products from our production plants, excluding logistics and e-commerce). 

However, as of 31/12/2023, 68% of single-use plastics had been eliminated, representing 4,710 tonnes out of 7,000 tonnes since the start of the project in 2019 (57 tonnes in 2019 + 337 tonnes in 2020 + 1,449 tonnes in 2021 + 1,319 tonnes in 2022 + 1,548 tonnes in 2023).

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#4. Who makes our products and in what conditions?

We work with 1272 suppliers in 45 countries.

The standards and national regulations regarding health, safety, labour laws and environmental impacts are different in each of these countries.

In this context, we must ensure all our suppliers respect local regulations and international standards. That's why Decathloniens are recruited in manufacturing countries to conduct regular audits in the factories to ensure there is compliance with human rights, workers' health & safety and environmental standards, as well as preventing corruption.

#5. What is eco-design?

It's an approach aimed at reducing a product's environmental impact while preserving its benefits and user features.

How? Thanks to the use of renewable or recycled materials, making use of less polluting dyeing processes or product repair.

74.8% of DECATHLON's impact* on the environment comes from our products, starting from the extraction of raw materials right up to their end of life. That, subsequently, is where our responsibility really lies.

Picture workshop DECATHLON

#6. What happens to products returned to stores for exchange or because faulty?

At DECATHLON, you are either satisfied or satisfied: in store or on the website, our customers have the option to return their product if they are not fully satisfied with it. But what do we do with all these products? Product returns, due to a quality or safety issue, are transferred to our design teams, allowing them to analyse the source of the problem to solve it as soon as possible. When a product is returned new and in its original condition because of the wrong choice of size or model: we put it back in stock to be sold as new.

If product is returned used: we will resell this product second-hand after having inspected and/or repaired it. Our workshop technicians, by the way, have been playing a vital role in product repair for over 1986. When a product is not suitable for resale, it can be given to an association or, as a last resort, will be binned. Each store is responsible for managing its product returns. It is compulsory to destroy Personal Protective Equipment (bike, ski, horse riding helmets...) after being returned so as not to compromise users' safety.

in a store Decathlon

#7. Is sustainable development compatible with DECATHLON's business model?

Since 2018, DECATHLON's mission is to make the pleasures and benefits of sports sustainably accessible to the largest number of people. Our current business model has centred around providing appealing sports goods with technical features at the right price, making them accessible to the largest number of people.

We are conscious of the efforts we must make to develop a more sustainable model leading towards a circular economy. Still not the case today, even if some initiatives contribute to it, such as the sale of second-hand products, product hire, repairs, or the use of recycled materials in some of our products.
We are coordinating our efforts to reduce our CO2 emissions per product to reduce our carbon intensity.


#8. How are you integrating disabled workers at DECATHLON?

By the end of 2023, disabled team-mates represented 3.5% of DECATHLON's workforce in France.

➡️ 2023 IN FIGURES
- Keeping teammates in employment: 141 teammates were assisted in having their disability recognised in house (186 in 2022) and 97 employees (86 in 2022) received technical (workplace design), psychological and behavioural support.

- Awareness-raising: Over 8,000 teammates attended four thematic days dedicated to cancer, long COVID, mental health and  endometriosis (conferences were held involving employees affected by illness and medical experts, offering advice on how to achieve a better work-illness balance, as well as sharing contacts and concrete solutions).

- Recruitment: 182 people with disabilities were hired (all contracts combined, including 19.2% with permanent contracts vs 149 in 2022, including 17.4% with permanent
contracts), and 3.5% of all Decathlon France teammates hired have a disability (3.2% in 2022).

- Relations with the sheltered employment environment: Four people from the sheltered employment environment were hired with permanent contracts, and over 200 sites work with the sheltered  employment environment, providing services, premises cleaning, bicycle assembly, store receptions, racket stringing, etc.

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#9. What is the DECATHLON Foundation?

Since 2005, the Foundation guides teammates wanting to get involved in social projects for vulnerable people, with sport as the vehicle to better health and integration in an environmentally friendly context.

Sport is a means of generating a positive social and local impact through social integration and access to education. The Foundation’s endeavours are led by teammates in all the countries where we are present thanks to sustainable, responsible and inclusive projects.

#10. How do we manage to sell a backpack at €3?

What makes DECATHLON unique is its ability to control its entire activity chain. We are a sports goods distributor and designer. Our teams subsequently work in design, close to manufacturing areas, in warehouses, on logistics flows all the way to DECATHLON stores. This particularity enables us, at each stage, to reduce costs to make our products accessible to the largest number of people.

Our NH100 backpack is today sold at 3 euros: we innovated by making it with just one seam, reducing this product's costs. One seam means just one manufacturing step, less fabric, and subsequently lower production and transport costs passed on to our customers through the purchase price..

To find out more about sustainable development at DECATHLON

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