German sportwear giant Adidas cut paper usage by an estimated 38% over the past seven years at the company’s corporate offices by an email footer that requested: “Please don’t print out this e-mail.” That is just the start of the changes the company has made to cut down on waste that not only saves money, but also decreases their impact on the environment.
The world’s second largest athletic-gear maker has also made other internal changes such as not stocking plastic water bottles for meetings, swapped plastic straws for ones made of paper, and even reused banners from a recent global marketing meeting to produce bags. All of these changes are part of a new corporate-wide initiative to reduce waste and conserve water.
“These types of changes can create arguments,” James Carnes, Adidas vice president of global brand strategy, told Fortune. “Some said ‘I like the old plastic straw’ but it forces people to think.”
It also highlights why Adidas recently unveiled a series of priorities it hopes to achieve by 2020. Among those targets:
- Apparel material suppliers to reduce water usage by 50%
- 75% reduction in paper usage per employee from 2008’s level
- Completely switch to sustainable cotton usage by the end of 2018
- By 2020, a vast majority of suppliers will reduce energy usage by 20%
Adidas has made major strides recently on the product front in the footwear space when it comes to sustainability. For starters, Adidas Primeknit allows the brand to create a shoe from more sustainable materials and in a more sustainable manner than with traditional materials. The brand has also teamed up with brand ambassador Pharrell Williams to produce shoes made from recycled plastics that were up-cycled from ocean waste.
To read more about Adidas’ commitment to the environment and the changes they have made thus far, head over to Fortune for the full story.