Each year we get closer to fulfilling our ambitions and every piece of trekker feedback we receive is an opportunity to improve so please criticise us, we love to get better!
Designing while minimising our environmental impact
Our team of engineers is striving to find the right balance between manufacturing a great product, making it affordable, and reducing our impact.
For each product, we carry out a Life Cycle Analysis to find ways to reduce our multi-criteria impact (CO2 emissions, fresh and marine water eutrophication, natural resources depletion, fine particle emissions). These analyses rely on the databases of an external organisation (Glimpact) to ensure the impact is objectively assessed.
To this day, various technical solutions have already been identified within the Decathlon Group:
Creating and using a responsible material catalogue listing renewable (Merino Wool, Organic Farming Wool) or recycled materials (polyester, plastic, or cotton).
Reducing water and energy consumption by using “dope dyeing”, and “dual-tone dyeing” to free ourselves from part of the dyeing step.
New and existing Forclaz products will progressively be integrated with these solutions to reach the ambitious 100% ecodesigned product goal by 2026.
In addition, our engineers are looking for new solutions that could benefit all industries: relocating production, eliminating dyes, reducing manufacturing waste, coming up with new responsible materials, and so on.
We know that the road to ecodesign is long and filled with pitfalls, but as trekkers we have learnt to change our route depending on the unexpected to reach our goals!
Wool and feather traceability
We have selected materials sourced from livestock farming–wool, feather, and down–and use them in our products because they meet trekkers’ needs.
We are aware that this industry sometimes causes animal suffering, which is why we are subordinating the use of these material to good living and slaughtering conditions.
To do so, we must firstly trace back the whole supply chain, which is more complex than it sounds. Once traceability has been established, we select farms which comply with our Animal Welfare conditions by conducting periodic audits.
We have already made good progress with wool and feather, but there is still a long way to go with the more complex issue of leather.
We believe that trekkers should be able to make informed decisions. This is why we are communicating with full transparency about our Animal Welfare progress and areas for improvement. It also explains why we always offer an alternative solution with products free from animal materials.
Minimum HRP score of C for our direct suppliers
Let’s cut to the chase:
YES, most of our products are made in Asia.
NO, our products are not manufactured by children under indecent working conditions.
We can assert that because Decathlon has already been looking into our suppliers’ working conditions for a while. Indeed, back in 2002, Decathlon was already launching its first HRP (Human Responsibility in Production) audits, even though it wasn’t a statutory requirement until 2017, when the “Due Diligence Regulation” came into force.
To ensure good working conditions and that Human Rights are met in our production facilities, we developed a “Code of Conduct” based on 3 pillars:
Work is safe
The work environment is healthy and safe, with good sanitary conditions in facilities that meet workers’ needs.
Our playground is preserved
Water is preserved, waste is reduced, the production facility is decarbonised, and its air emissions are limited, chemical wasted is properly handled.
Work is fair
Work is fair and voluntary, children labour is banned, discrimination and harassment are not tolerated, working hours are not excessive, salary and benefits are fair.
If our suppliers don’t abide by our “Code of Conduct criteria”, we shall support them in working toward reaching these goals. If they do not wish to do so, we stop working with them.
In addition, the level of requirements with regard to these criteria evolves every 3 or 4 years to align with the social and environmental context, which encourages the suppliers who work with us to keep improving the working conditions of their employees.
On the other hand, to tackle the societal and environmental impact of a high-emission production far from the end point of sale, Forclaz is currently considering new production relocation solutions to get closer to the end customer and start working in low impact facilities.
The Decathlon Group already produces around 20% of its products sold in Europe in the Euromed zone (Europe + Mediterranean region).
When it comes to Forclaz, on the European market:
Our shoes are made in Portugal, Romania, and Ukraine.
Part of our freeze-dried meals is produced in France.
Part of our Merino Range (T-shirts, beanies, boxer shorts, neck warmers) is made in Portugal.
In 2022, a “low impact” range exclusively produced in Europe and in the Mediterranean region will be released.
As you can see, working on our human and environmental responsibility in production is about making continuous efforts toward improvement rather than just a one-time job. As you can see, working on our human and environmental responsibility in production is about making continuous efforts toward improvement rather than just a one-time job.
While packaging is used as a protection, a means of communication or an aid to shelf display, its usefulness is being called into question, since it represents a significant source of waste.
Our Packaging Engineers, who are aware of the environmental impact of their decisions, are progressing step-by-step in optimising the packaging of our products.
To do so, they have identified five levers:
This allows to display crucial product information without having to use packaging. Another benefit: if the product is lent, given, or resold, the new owner can still access this information!
When possible and relevant, packaging is designed so it can be reused, for example a packaging bag which turns into a storage bag.
If you have no choice but to use cardboard, we may as well use cardboard sourced from responsible and sustainable farm. This is why we work with suppliers whose cardboard is PEFC / FSC-certified. Our target: 100% of FSC-certified cardboard by 2025. In 2021, we have already reached 81%.
Avoid single-use plastic products
The plastic used to protect our products (in packaging and logistics) is a major source of pollution. Single-use packaging alone accounts for 36% of global plastic production and only less than 14% of all plastics are recycled.
This is why Decathlon is committed to eliminating all of its single-use plastics by 2026. To do so, we must adopt a step-by-step approach to find meaningful protective solutions.
Optimising transport boxes
It seems obvious, but it's not so simple: optimising the filling of transport boxes is a crucial way of tackling our environmental impact. Reducing empty space means less boxes, so less containers sailed oversea!
The role of our Packaging Engineers has changed radically–they must now reduce and essentialise packaging solutions in an environmentally friendly way.
LOW IMPACT LOGISTICS
Air freight transport
In Decathlon's total carbon footprint, transport accounts for only 4% of greenhouse gas emissions. How come? Because the Group is favouring less impactful transport means.
Air freight: Very rarely used, this mode of transport allows for quick supply in case of urgent delivery needs. While you are reading this, Forclaz has reached its “No air freight” target.
Sea freight: We mainly use cargo transport for long distances. Transport takes more time, but the carbon impact is reduced by 99% compared to air freight!
Rail freight: For medium distances, rail freight is an efficient and fast solution for getting our products as close as possible to the final destination, though its emissions are 8 times higher than cargo.
Local loop: For product home or shop delivery, we are developing new solutions with a lower impact, such as gas or electric trucks, bicycles or barges.
Our other big project involves a less traditional scheme with regards to logistics and supply.
We want to rethink our business model, and several options are already available to us: producing locally, developing repair and second life, promoting second-hand sales and rental.
It’s a tricky one, but starting from scratch can be very inspiring!
TOGETHER WE CAN GO FURTHER
Adrien, Technical Director
Sustainable development has been at the heart of Forclaz’s identity since day one. Citizens, industrial and political decision-makers all have a role to play in overcoming the upcoming climate and society challenges.
That’s why the entire Forclaz team came together to play its role!
As designers, we strive to find the best balance between price, environmental impact, and durability to offer the best products while respecting our values.
We as a brand are responsible of how our products are made, and we share values with our suppliers, including respecting workers and the environment.
On a daily basis, we try to remain coherent and humble–our products are not perfect, neither are we. Yet, we never give up, we strive to keep improving. Our beliefs and commitment are growing stronger, year after year. Through continuous improvement, we keep on fine-tuning our products to make them better and reduce their environmental impact. We are currently working on various projects with hope and confidence, including promoting repair, second life, rental, and local production.
That is why we have decided to embark on a journey toward transparency–we want to share our bias, what makes us proud, but also our doubts and areas for improvement.
This is a battle we are fighting together, and that we will win together!
To help reducing waste, we must extend our product lifespan by properly conditioning and repairing them when needed.
We tend to see Internet as intangible and low impact, but powering data centres, telecommunication networks and our devices requires a significant and growing consumption of energy.
This is why, step-by-step, we are trying to find ways to mitigate our website’s impact (forclaz.co.uk), starting with the weight reduction (in KB) of this very web page. The lighter your web page, the quicker it loads and the less energy it consumes.
According to the GreenIT-Analysis tool calculation methodology, this web page greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to be 1.61 gCO2e, which is equivalent to the B score in the Green Impact Index.
Keep a sober, efficient and clean layout
Incorporate only a few pictures and optimise their weight and dimensions
Use lighter illustrations instead of pictures
Only upload pictures and video clips when the Internet user considers it necessary, by clicking on it
Use darker colours to reduce screen energy consumption
In the near future, we plan to optimise and limit the use of fonts by providing system fonts already incorporated in your device to prevent from downloading new ones
Cache as much data as possible to limit unnecessary data transfers