Quel plan d’action pour une baisse des émissions absolues de CO2 eq. ?

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

Decathlon has made an ambitious commitment to reduce its absolute CO2 eq emissions by 20% by 2026 compared to 2021.

According to reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to limit global warming to 1.5°C, achieving carbon neutrality by the middle of the 21ᵉ century is essential. This objective is defined in the Paris Agreement signed by 195 countries. It is in this global context that Decathlon is implementing a climate strategy.

Decathlon has thus set itself an ambitious new commitment to reduce its absolute CO2 eq. emissions by 20% by 2026 compared with 2021.

Moving from our previous commitment to reduce our economic intensity (-53% CO2eq./€ in 2026 vs. 2016) to a reduction in absolute CO2 equivalent emissions is a major step forward in our climate strategy. Why? Because reducing our carbon intensity does not necessarily mean that we are emitting less greenhouse gas, and so it seemed essential to make commitments in terms of absolute emissions reduction.

The limits of the CO2 intensity indicator

- This is a ratio between two indicators that can evolve independently of our climate change mitigation actions.
- The ratio may decrease while our absolute CO2 eq. emissions continue to rise (if sales in euros increase more rapidly).
- The intensity will reach a technological ceiling, after which we will have to activate other levers.

Why only -20% CO2 eq. emissions between 2021 and 2026? What is DECATHLON planning for the long term?

We chose this reference year because in 2021 we obtained reliable and precise carbon emission measurements for all scopes 1, 2 and 3.

The 20% reduction in our absolute CO2 eq. emissions over five years announced in this communication campaign is not an end in itself. It is a milestone in our roadmap, which aims for a 42% reduction by 2030 to contribute to the global ambition of carbon neutrality by 2050.

This target is accompanied by a strategic action plan to ensure that we can achieve the announced reduction rate within the announced timeframe.

This was submitted to the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) at the beginning of August 2023, and is currently being examined by this body. 

Scope 1, 2 and 3: what are they?

To carry out a GHG assessment, companies need to analyse the GHG emissions emanating from their activity and that of third parties. The perimeters within which GHG emissions are analysed are called scopes. There are three main types of scope: 1, 2 and 3.

Scope 1: direct emissions.
Scope 2: emissions included in scope 2, indirect emissions linked to the use of energy by the company.
Scope 3: other indirect emissions, i.e. all emissions not included in the scope of direct emissions and indirect emissions associated with energy (scope 1 and 2). This is the scope of emissions that is the most difficult to understand, since it concerns a multitude of players and economic structures.

Quel plan d’action pour une baisse des émissions absolues de CO2 eq. ?

About SBTi

The Science Based Target Initiative is a global body enabling businesses to set ambitious emissions reductions targets in line with the latest climate science. It is focused on accelerating companies across the world to halve emissions before 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions before 2050.

The initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments. The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, offers resources and guidance to reduce barriers to adoptions, and independently assesses and approves companies' targets.

Quel plan d’action pour une baisse des émissions absolues de CO2 eq. ?

How do we measure our carbon footprint at Decathlon?

As product designers and distributors, we extract raw materials, transform them into components and products, and transport, store and sell them. These products are used and eventually discarded. This is what we call the product life cycle. We take into account activities along our entire value chain to measure our emissions (scopes 1, 2 and 3).

We use the GHG protocol as the standard for calculating our carbon footprint. The protocol defines scope and categories, and helps to improve the allocation of responsibilities within Decathlon. The GHG protocol is one of the most internationally recognized standards and is compatible with many reporting frameworks.

Quel plan d’action pour une baisse des émissions absolues de CO2 eq. ?

Get into the detail of which levers will enable us to reduce our carbon footprint:

Decathlon has organized its greenhouse gas reduction action plan around 4 main levers:

Decarbonising our footprint
Optimising our offer and designing products that last over time
Scale up circular business models
Influencing our ecosystem through advocacy and mobilisation

But in concrete terms, how can we meet these climate ambitions?

Raw materials extraction and product manufacturing account for 78.2% of our carbon footprint, which is why it is essential that we prioritise actions at this level.

Raw materials

- Invest in more sustainable raw materials, as they have a high potential for reducing CO2 emissions, particularly in the metal, textile and footwear sectors.
- Design with fewer raw materials (e.g: functional and technical optimisation)
- Prefer raw materials with lower GHG emissions (e.g: wood rather than metal)
- Increase the recycled content of raw materials used in our products (up to the technical maximum, without compromising on product quality).
- Favouring recyclable raw materials at end-of-life

Reduce energy consumption in production and the carbon impact of our suppliers' energy mix

- Work with suppliers to improve energy efficiency
- Design products requiring fewer processing stages (e.g: simpler form, functional analysis)
- Use less energy-intensive processes (e.g: innovative dyeing methods)
- Ensure a transition to a less carbon-intensive energy mix by eliminating all use of coal and using renewable energies.

Products transport

- optimise upstream logistics operations (reduce the number of kilometres travelled per product)
- work with international transport suppliers to use less carbon-intensive fuels
- work with downstream transport suppliers to develop solutions that emit less greenhouse gas


- Renewable energy sources and energy efficiency strategies
- Favouring refurbishment of existing buildings over new construction for new shops

Experimenting with a new business model

- designing durable, repairable and recyclable products that are suitable for rental and second life
- developing our second life, rental and repair services

Influencing our system

- train teammates on environmental issues (e.g. climate murals) to get them involved in the environmental transition
- encourage soft mobility among customers and teammates
- raise awareness and support customers towards more enlightened consumption
- participate in international initiatives (ex: all Decathlon sites worldwide are encouraged to organise environmental awareness events such as the World Clean Up Day)

Our target: emit 20% less CO2 (compared with 2021)

Our goal

Saving energy, favouring renewable energies, creating products that last longer, repairing more, reusing...

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Transition Plan 2020-2026

Our stakes and commitments for a more sustainable DECATHLON.

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The production and manufacturing of Decathlon products

Issues linked to manufacturing raise plenty of questions, which is entirely normal:we reveal all here.