Adidas Team With RMIT On Sustainable Manufacturing

adidas corporate photo

Photo credit: Adidas

RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, last month signed a $207,000 USD research contract with the German-based sports behemoth, Adidas, to identify the sustainable manufacturing capabilities and requirements of Adidas' suppliers in Indonesia.

The project known as The Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative (SMI) will, according to the university, "bring together RMIT researchers in sports technology, sustainable manufacturing, sustainable development, sustainable energy, supply chain management and textiles.">William Anderson, Head of Social and Environmental Affairs, Asia Pacific, for the adidas Group said in a media release concerning the contract,

"RMIT secured this assignment based on their strengths in engineering, depth of understanding of sustainable manufacturing processes and their ongoing commitment to education in the region, which is exemplified by their Vietnam campuses."

The media release also alludes to the possible establishment of a regional Sustainable Manufacturing Institute to provide standardised training for manufacturing operations in Indonesia, China and Vietnam, This option will apparently be considered in a final phase of the project.

adidas shoes photo

Photo credit: Adidas

RMIT has had a long history in sustainable design, especially though its Centre for Design, which has pioneered many eco-design initiatives and provided a great deal of research in the spheres of green industrial design, building products, construction and demolition waste, life cycle assessment (LCA) and more. Not to mention a vast source of publications on green design.

Many moons ago this writer worked as freelance consultant on green textile research for the Centre for Design at RMIT, so it is heartwarming to learn that the University is still at work on such matters.

And similarly it should be noted that this is not Adidas' first foray into the field of responsible design and production. The sports brand has the goal of becoming become a zero-emission company sometime around 2015. Some the moves in that direction include: Cutting relative energy use by 20%, make a total relative cut of 30% in carbon emissions by sourcing green energy and reducing paper use by 50%. By 2012 100% of Adidas athletic footwear products, and 20% of adidas athletic apparel products should contain "some sustainable content."

RMIT and Adidas Sustainability
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