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How sustainable is Asics?
This screening has been done by Fairify on June 22nd 2020

Asics is a Japanese sportswear company that mainly produces running shoes. It is also the mother company of Swedish outerwear brand Haglöfs.

The company measures the carbon emissions in its supply chain, which accumulate to 769,504 tons, and publishes them yearly through the Carbon Disclosure Project. It has approved Science Based Targets in place to reduce emissions in direct operations by 38% and supply chain emissions by 55%, both by 2030. Asics publishes an elaborate sustainability report that clearly shows its emissions are decreasing annually and has adopted the Higg Environmental Module in its facilities to improve environmental performance. However, there is room for improvement because water and waste impact is increasing. In 2019, the company used 16.4% renewable electricity in its owned facilities, but doesn’t disclose use of renewables in its supply chain. It’s also still using plastics in its packaging, but is working to eliminate single-use plastics and slowly switching to eco-friendly substitutes.

There are big improvements to be made in terms of material sourcing. The company has adopted a target for 100% more sustainable cotton by 2025, but was at 30% in 2019. It still uses a percentage of leather from non-certified sources, but it does prohibit wool from mulesing practices. PVC is restricted and Asics is increasing the percentage of recycled polyester. Unfortunately, the Japanese brand doesn’t provide an elaborate list of specific material origins and the percentages it uses for production. But it does work together with Bluesign, which helps source responsibly and reduce chemicals.

Asics has a Code of Conduct that covers most labor rights and mentions carrying out audits by accredited third-party monitors. While some of these are conducted by Better Work, actual data on the total number audits, the total number of factories and who these accredited third-party auditors are, is not disclosed. This means that the actual upholding of the social standards can’t be guaranteed. A membership with a significant and trustworthy third party that reports on its findings, would be a step in the right direction.

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