KOBE, Japan (May 25, 2020) – ASICS Corporation, a true sport performance brand, today released its 2019 Sustainability Report, which summarizes the company’s progress towards medium- and long-term sustainability targets.
The headline result for 2019 was a 27.9% reduction in CO2 emissions per pair of shoes during the manufacturing process (compared with 2015 baseline levels), far deeper than the 10% target ASICS set for itself by 2020.
“2020 is the final year of our current five-year strategic plan. While we have met many of this plan’s sustainability targets ahead of schedule, our work doesn’t stop there,” said Motoi Oyama, Chairman and CEO of ASICS Corporation. “We have already started drawing up new plans toward 2030, based on the new materiality analysis*1 we completed at the end of 2019. In line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we will continue to strive for a sustainable future for our business and the planet.”
*1 A materiality analysis is a process to identify and prioritize the issues that are most important and relevant to an organization and its stakeholders.
The COVID-19 pandemic that started at the end of 2019, has spread to all corners of the world, threatening millions of lives. For ASICS, the health and wellbeing of customers, staff and athletes are the top priority. ASICS believes in the power of sport to uplift, and in times like this it has never been as important to help everyone achieve a sound mind in a sound body. ASICS will continue to do everything it can to help the world achieve that goal. At the same time, mankind is facing a climate emergency, and addressing this challenge requires the private sector takes radical action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To scale up ASICS’ ambition in this area, the Company has accelerated its science based GHG emissions reduction targets in 2019. The Company’s new commitment is in line with global efforts to limit average temperature increases to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, aligned with a net-zero future by 2050.
Also, in 2019, ASICS enhanced the integration of sustainability into its business by setting up a new Sustainability Committee as advisory board to the Board of Directors chaired by President & COO. Together with the support of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), this structure will help ASICS respond proactively to climate change challenges while ensuring its business can grow responsibly.
ASICS aims to switch 100% of the polyester used in its products to recycled polyester by 2030. This is a key strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the Company’s value chain and achieve its science-based targets. The ultimate goal behind this strategy is to support a more circular approach where resources are recycled rather than using virgin materials, an approach which also reduces GHG emissions.
In 2019, ASICS developed a recycled polyester roadmap for each product category and accelerated the use of recycled polyester in new products under development. From 2020, ASICS expects this initiative to begin increasing the proportion of recycled polyester in Company products overall.
ASICS initiated its global launch of the “Edo Era Tribute Pack,” in April 2020. This collection of shoes, designed and developed in 2019, draws its inspiration from Japan’s Edo period. Tokyo was called “Edo” until 1868 and was one of the first cities in the world to recycle and follow sustainable practices. The “Edo Era Tribute Pack,” featuring high-tech sustainable shoes made from recycled PET bottles, is inspired by Tokyo’s heritage. Recycled polyester is used in the shoe’s upper material. ASICS recycled approximately 300,000 PET bottles to manufacture the whole collection.
In July, ASICS launched a new sustainable packaging policy to reduce waste generated further down its supply chain, at the retail and consumer level. The policy commits ASICS to eliminating single-use plastic throughout the supply chain, and where plastic is necessary, switching to eco-friendly substitutes. In line with this policy, ASICS committed to changing the main material the Company uses for its shopping bags at all directly managed stores from plastic to paper by the end of 2020.
ASICS also plans to introduce a new, more sustainable shoebox from July 2020. The box features water-based rather than oil-based ink. With this new box ASICS will reduce the total amount of ink used by approximately 50% compared with earlier boxes. Additionally, the design of the new box requires approximately 10% less cardboard, making it less carbon-intensive to produce, which will save around 1,200 tons in CO2 emissions per year.
To address potential migrant worker issues, in December 2019, ASICS introduced a grievance mechanism for suppliers in Thailand, Vietnam and Japan. Developed in partnership with the Global Alliance for Sustainable Supply Chain (ASSC), the mechanism provides workers with a channel to raise concerns.
ASICS continues to support children in adversity. Partnering with international charity organization, Right To Play, ASICS is proud to support child refugees in Syrian through the unique Kids Athletic program. This project gives children the opportunity to have fun and make friends by taking part in sport activities in a safe environment. In 2019, ASICS expanded Project Lebanon to a third city, Nabatieh, reaching 28 new coaches and 2,230 children. In 2020, ASICS plans to expand the project to bring the benefits of sports to those who need it most.
The full 2019 Sustainability Report can be found at:
For further details on ASICS’ CSR and sustainability activities, please visit:
ASICS' 2019 sustainability report is structured according to the GRI Standard sustainability reporting guidelines. The Company’s separate GRI Index table will be published online in June 2020.