Adidas AG

As we all know Adidas sells sports shoes, clothes and equipment. It's the number 2 manufacturer of sporting goods behind Nike and is present in 170 countries.

Is Adidas ethical?

Our research highlights several ethical issues with Adidas, including environmental reporting, habitats & resources, pollutions and toxics, human rights, workers' rights, animal rights, anti-social finance, and controversial technologies 

Below we outline of some of these issues. To see the full detailed stories, and Adidas' overall ethical rating, please sign in or subscribe.


In February 2019 Ethical Consumer viewed a report from 2018 named ‘Know the Chain’. In this report, 43 large clothing and shoe companies had been assessed in order to capture the key areas where companies need to take action to eradicate forced labour from their supply chain. 

Of the 43 assessed companies, Adidas placed first for disclosing more information on its forced labour policies and practices than its peers across all themes. Compared to 2016, the company improved its score by 11 points. 

The company scored the following in the report's themed scores:

  • Commitment and Governance 100 out of 100
  • Traceability and Risk Assessment 100 out of 100
  • Purchasing Practices 75 out of 100
  • Recruitment 88 out of 100
  • Worker Voice 88 out of 100
  • Monitoring 95 out of 100
  • Remedy 100 out of 100

As the company scored more than 70/100, it lost no marks with us.


In 2017 we viewed a WWF report named “Changing fashion: The clothing and textile industry at the brink of radical transformation”.  This report examined 12 major brands with a focus on environmental factors rather than social aspects or labour rights. 
Out of the categories ‘Latecomers/Intransparent’,  ‘Lower Midfield’, ‘Upper Midfield’, ‘Ambitious’ and ‘Visionary’,  Adidas achieved an overall rating of “Upper Midfield”. 
Its score was average for six of the criteria, poor on another two (Travel and transport and Customer and product responsibility), and good on the remaining three (Environmental policy and management systems, Climate change strategy, and Environmental management in the supply chain).

In July 2016 we  gave Adidas a middle rating for Toxics and Chemicals for the following reasons:
    • Adidas Group has committed to being 90% PFC-free as of 15 June 2014.
    • Greenpeace rated Adidas in 'Evolution Mode' for its Detox Campaign. This means it is 'committed to Detox' and has 'made progress implementing their plans, but their actions need to evolve faster to achieve the 2020 Detox goal'.


Given the fact that leather formed a substantial part of its business, Adidas received a worst rating for animal rights.


In June 2016 Ethical Consumer viewed the Adidas family tree on the corporate information website Adidas had a number of high-risk company types based in tax havens. Subsidiaries included:

    • The holding company, adidas Sourcing Limited, based in Hong Kong
    • The business services company, adidas Services Limited, based in Hong Kong
    • The holding company, adidas sport gmbh, based in Switzerland

As the company had more than two high-risk company types based in tax havens at the time of writing, Adidas received Ethical Consumer's worst ranking for likely use of tax avoidance strategies.

Excessive directors pay

In June 2016 Ethical Consumer viewed Adidas's Annual Report 2015 which stated that Herbert Hainer (CEO) was paid €11,983,870 in 2015. Ethical Consumer considered remuneration over £1 million to be excessive. 


Image: Adidas trainers
  • Ethical Consumer Best Buy: No
  • Boycotts: No

Company information

Company Ethiscore

Company Address:

Adi-Dassler Str 2

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Associated brands

  • adidas
  • Reebok

Ownership structure

Ethical stories