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DECATHLON's social impact

By designing, manufacturing and transporting, DECATHLON has an impact on thousands of people each day. It clearly has a sizeable impact that should be assessed, measured, and improved.

A definition of social impact

Measuring a company's social impact means assessing all the consequences of its activities on its stakeholders and more broadly, on society, whether positive or negative, expected or unexpected. It subsequently goes beyond elementary economic impacts and includes aspects such as job creation, skills acquisition, working conditions, community involvement etc.

Social impact assessment at DECATHLON

At DECATHLON, social impact assessment is a tangible reality reflected in every decision, measure and interaction. Our business model and company strategy necessarily impact men and women in our community and the communities we affect.
So, how do we ensure that our decisions are the right ones, in the short term, for the people we work with directly and, in the medium to long term, for the communities affected as a whole?
Various levers can be used:
- establish socially responsible conditions that enable our employees to make informed and responsible decisions. It involves supplying them with the necessary information and training and supporting their thinking,
- share the social impact concept: all the company's jobs from manufacturing to sales, including communication and buying, have a role to play in creating a positive impact.
- systematically assess the consequences all decision-making has on people. This then is not about pointing the finger or judging staff, but making them aware of how each choice impacts people.

Let's take the example of a store opening. It is not just a question of being concerned with the store's profitability and its catchment area. It is also crucial the suppliers we consider working with share the same values along with the needs and impacts of the local community directly or indirectly concerned by this opening.

DECATHLON's strategies linked to social impact

If social impact strategies vary from one company to another, at DECATHLON, we believe the key to this is an everyday commitment to it.

This commitment is based on three pillars:
- Our responsibility as an employer and commercial partner
- Our mission statement “get people active by getting enjoyment out of sports”"
- Our charitable commitment

DECATHLON's social impact

Our responsibility as an employer and commercial partner

As an employer and commercial partner, DECATHLON directly impacts not only the living conditions its employees but also those of their families.
And it seemed logical to us to start by making the company's purpose meaningful: “get people active by getting enjoyment out of sports”. A good project that nevertheless comes up against some very real and immediate constraints: even if aware of the health benefits of sport why would you feel like doing it after a hard day working and/or if your basic needs were not met?

DECATHLON's social impact

Our mission statement to “get people active by getting enjoyment out of sports””"

Our mission statement is to "get people active by getting enjoyment out of sports" and takes root in our teams' well-being. So they can enjoy themselves doing physical exercise, with it being essential we ensure they have access to basic needs: food, housing, able to send their children to school...

This commitment encompasses our entire supply chain. We ensure our suppliers at least comply with the same social and environmental standards as those we set ourselves. This is achieved by setting up surveys equivalent to the DTB (Decathlon Teammates Barometer). Objective: let people freely express themselves, create social value and have a positive social impact on people's lives.

We go beyond mere perception to measure whether we are fulfilling our mission. When surveying the inhabitants in the areas we are established in regarding getting back into sport and their perception of DECATHLON facilitating access to physical activity, we also focus on more practical indicators to measure our social impact.

The percentage of sportspeople in the country we are established in is a key element. It enables us to measure social impact of our actions on the health and well-being of the local population. Do they consider that DECATHLON enables people to get into sport? take up a physical activity again? How can we provide inclusive sports solutions? How can we improve the customer/sportsperson's experience in store to meet their needs more closely?

DECATHLON's social impact

Our charitable commitment

The DECATHLON corporate foundation, established in 2005, is committed yearly to supporting hundreds of sports projects. DECATHLON's charitable commitment today goes beyond sports by creating a charitable foundation.
This fund, set up in response to the conflict in Ukraine, aims to provide emergency aid to people made vulnerable by conflicts and climate related disasters. The goal is to maintain a long-term presence in the regions affected, offering support to people as soon as a crisis hits, such as an earthquake.

This support translates into donating time, skills, products… and financial support.It sometimes is even about assisting mutual support between Decathlonians.
The charitable foundation distributes funds according to DECATHLON's (or its commercial partners') presence in the region, based on damage assessments, etc.
This is still new to DECATHLON and continues to be developed so that it can determine what percentage it could tomorrow allocate to charitable causes.

The living wage concept, cornerstone of DECATHLON's corporate social responsibility

The living wage is a different concept from that of the minimum legal wage.

The living wage is the minimal hourly wage required by a worker and their family to afford basic needs, such as food, housing, clothing, healthcare, transport, education and other essential needs, including contingency funds for unexpected events.
The living wage calculation varies according to the place of residence, cost of living and the household's composition. It includes elements such as the price of rent, food, transport, healthcare, etc.

What are the differences with the legal minimum wage?

The legal minimum wage, when it exists, is a minimum hourly wage set by the government below which employers cannot pay their employees. Conversely the living wage is not a legal requirement but more of a reference used by some employers and NGOs to promote fair and equitable wage practices.

At DECATHLON, the work done on the living wage not only involves ensuring compliance with the legal framework but also sets out the path for rolling out the living wage with its industrial partners. A job that cannot be done alone! While it is in the industrial partners' interest to implement this policy (especially to deal with recruitment difficulties by limiting staff turnover), they also need to join forces with other sports sector actors, along with the retail and clothing sectors in general.

Today, DECATHLON has a human rights policy and a code of conduct, in addition to regular social audits. , which are already available.
(Soon) all companies subject to CSRD will eventually be accountable for their actions and projects in this area. And that is good news! It helps a company grasp where it stands and where it can improve. It can then work on contingency and renegotiation plans to find the right balance with its industrial partners. The challenge is to then control the supply chain. When a supplier buys from another one... it is about ensuring traceability, another sizeable challenge for the company.

Integrating social impact: a collective and socially responsible approach at DECATHLON

Taking people into account, making a difference, making decisions that will be useful and doing “things well” to win together… are core principles that have been present at DECATHLON since it was established. Ultimately, the difference today is doing it consciously, measuring social impact, and reporting it to comply with legal requirements. This subsequently means raising awareness among the company's employees and providing them with training. Because, if the issue is well worked on by a team of experts, everyone can also integrate the concept of social impact into their jobs every day: by showing respect to their suppliers, customers and colleagues…

More broadly speaking, the challenge is to rebalance environmental and social impact, both intertwined. How do you help a supplier take on the cost of solar panel installation while guaranteeing a minimum wage?
How do you succeed in maintaining access to sports while respecting all workers in our value chain?

Beyond concrete action steps, the aim is to reinforce and demonstrate company culture puts social impact at the heart of everyone's concerns.

To find out more

DECATHLON joins first worker insurance scheme pilot in Bangladesh Text

DECATHLON & Bangladesh Textile Sector

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Decathlon and the Commitment and Well-being Survey

Why did Decathlon sign up to do the Commitment and Well-being Survey project?

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DECATHLON Foundation: “Sport has so much to give us"

The DECATHLON foundation is to make the pleasure and benefits of sport permanently accessible to children and adults in fragile situations.

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Our environmental challenges

Biodiversity, climate and plastic pollution in the ocean: 3 issues that DECATHLON are working on in particular. Why these? How?

What action plan is needed to reduce absolute CO2 eq emissions?

What action plan is needed to reduce absolute CO2 eq emissions?

DECATHLON commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 42% by 2030 from a 2021 base year. Decathlon also commits to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions 42% within the same timeframe.

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10 questions you may have about DECATHLON's sustainable development

The questions you'll find here are those put to us by our teammates in an internal survey and that customers shared with us during meet ups over coffee