THE LIFE OF OUR PRODUCTS
REPORTS & DOCUMENTS
The idea is to be able to understand / make people understand the environmental implications of producing, buying, using a product or service.
The environmental assessment takes a number of factors into account:
- the extraction of raw materials,
- the materials and processes used in production,
- the packaging, - the distribution of the product, including transport,
- the use of your product (washing your sports shirt between two sessions, for example, or every time you recharge the battery on your electric bike),
- the fate of your product when it has reached the end of its useful life.
Environmental labelling is a way of indicating all or part of the assessment of a product or service (yes, so far, it seems quite logical).
To assess its products, DECATHLON relies on a life cycle analysis, i.e. an assessment of all the stages in the life cycle, from the extraction of the raw materials that make up the product to the end of the product's life.
Life cycle assessment is a relatively recent subject, having emerged in the 1990s. The scientific methodologies and tools used to assess the impact of products are constantly evolving. DECATHLON has been actively contributing to the development of these methodologies since 2007, in particular through its participation in French working groups with ADEME and European working groups (PEF), aimed at specifying both the calculation methods and the databases required to calculate a product's impact.
The life cycle analysis of DECATHLON products is based on the recommendations of the Product Environmental Footprint method, supported by the European Commission.
You'll see that in our product files, the amount of kg CO2e can sometimes seem quite substantial. That is why it is necessary to put it into perspective. You can well imagine that manufacturing a bike is a lot more impactful than a t-shirt. It can be explained by the materials used in the design of a product (and, in particular, the quantity, and therefore its overall weight), its manufacturing process, or product care steps.
On average, the impact of a “basic” t-shirt (in other words, without too many technical specifications) is around 8.79 kg CO2e. On average a bike is more likely to be approximately 96 kg CO2e (it all depends, of course, on the bike model). As you can see, the footprint is considerably different.
To get a clearer idea, here are a few averages of the impact per product:
• Plastic water bottle: 1.13 Kg CO2e
• Helmet: 3.77 Kg CO2e
• T-shirt: 8.79 Kg CO2e
• Shoes: 12.28 Kg CO2e
• Backpack 19.38 Kg CO2e
• Trousers: 20.29 Kg CO2e
• Jacket: 30.70 Kg CO2e
• Bike: 96 Kg CO2e
It is also important to take into consideration other factors. A bike's lifespan is, for example, a lot longer than that of a t-shirt. (proof of which is provided by the fun we still have refurbishing our grandparents' bikes!). On top of being repaired hundred's of times, it can also become your equipment for getting around every day, helping you to reduce your own carbon footprint.
You will have understood that assessing our products is a way to be as transparent as possible and lets you make an informed choice when making buying. And this involves eco-design and the environmental label:
Having this overall picture of the impact is useful for us for two reasons:
#1 : for us, it lets us make the right strategic decisions to reduce the impact. We assess eco-design by providing design teams with the right data to choose the least impactful materials or manufacturing processes. Thanks to these data, we can forecast the CO2 trajectory over the long term and make DECATHLON's future activity compatible with the planet's limits.
#2 : and for you! This information lets you take a criterion into account that is playing an increasingly decisive role in making a purchase.
AND WHAT ABOUT TOMORROW?
On top of the impact on climate change, our teams are measuring other impacts linked to our products' entire life cycle. We will, in due course, be able to communicate the impact of our products on the pollution of fresh water and marine habitats (called "eutrophication"). As well as their impact on human health through air pollution.