On top of offering you high-performance sports products, our design teams are committed to developing them with a more environmentally friendly approach. We developed what we call eco-design to achieve this.
Eco-design consists of taking the environment into account from the first design stages and throughout the entire product's life cycle.
In practical terms, it's about thinking through how to make it possible to reduce its impact on the environment during its whole lifespan.
A product thought through (or redesigned) with an eco-design approach that still fulfils the same function as a conventionally made one, while additionally offering an environmental benefit: an eco-designed running t-shirt remains before everything else a good running t-shirt!
It's about all the phases that a product goes through in its life.
- its raw materials : extraction and treatment
- its production : manufacturing techniques
- its transport : from production location to its distribution location
- its distribution: sales location and mode
- its use: usage, washing and maintenance
- its end of life: repair, recycling, destruction
We do eco-design precisely!
Our design teams established a rigorous framework to define this approach. The products concerned must meet at least one of these criteria:
1. Reducing its environmental impact by at least 10% with the previous model for at least two of the following indicators: climate change, air pollution, water pollution and resource depletion.
2. It must meet certain very specific design endeavours: at least 70% of the product weight made using recycled polyester, a fabric made with at least 90% organically grown cotton, less water-intensive dyes, etc.
The eco-design approach can apply at different times in the product's life cycle. The implementation of these methods subsequently helps to limit its impact on the environment. To best understand, here are a few examples of approaches to eco-design:
On top of our eco-design approach, we have started an environmental assessment of some of our products.
Environmental labelling provides the opportunity to compare the environmental impacts of several products in the same category (for example, in the short sleeve t-shirt family).
Today, you'll find a rating ranging from A to E on the products evaluated (by the end of 2019, 61.1% of our products).
This rating system, already used for household electrical goods, is now being rolled out on our products thanks to our teams' clever calculations!
Taking it further, we've made commitments on materials used in our products. By the end of 2022, all the polyester and cotton used will be more sustainably sourced. Currently, in 2019, it's already the case for 95% of cotton found in our products, which is a good omen for the future. But only 16.3% of the polyester we use in our products meet this goal: that is where our main challenge lies!
Well aware that plenty remains to be done to reduce this environmental impact, we are determined to continue to act in support of change.
Today, the main constraints can be found at the level of the evaluation of products and their materials, and more specifically regarding the choice of alternative materials. We have to be certain that a material replacing another has to be less impactful, less polluting. To achieve this, we rely on external studies and tests, which we have to guarantee the reliability and independence of the results.
Our products must satisfy numerous qualitative and technical requirements. The alternatives are not always technologies that have yet reached maturity on the market. We use, for example, organic cotton for some of our products, whose farming provides lower yields. Consequently, the amount of cotton available on the market is less substantial than conventionally grown cotton.
Today, over 500 products developed with an eco-design approach are available in our stores and on our website. However, they only represent a small percentage of our product range. With DECATHLON teams understanding the challenges of climate change and resource depletion, their goal is to achieve 100% product development with an eco-design approach by 2026.
We want you to understand our way of operating but it's not easy trying to get the balance right between keeping explanations simple and wanting to explain everything in detail. If you want to find out more, feel free to take a look at our Non-Financial Reporting Statement. It's an inventory, published each year, of all the initiatives that are leading to sustainable progress.