Progress through dialogue
Talking about Decathlon stakeholders means talking about how we are, how we achieve and how we progress. There are three key groups of stakeholders vital to our success.
First and foremost, our team mates. Our management is based on trust, responsibility and skills development. Dialogue is permanent and ongoing, punctuated by regular opportunities for discussion: monthly meetings and the annual meeting. Our relations are direct and genuine. And our team mates are the front-line ambassadors for our business, our Passion brands and our products.
Then, our customers. They are involved right from the product design stage, and their satisfaction is one of our key concerns. Our Passion brands enable us to meet their needs, as diverse as these are.
Lastly, our subcontractors. We consider our subcontractors to be partners, support them in terms of their development and compliance with our requirements.
And, obviously, all other stakeholders who drive our development every day.
In 2015, dialogue and transparency are exemplified by a few notable initiatives:
(Employees, social partners)
To push ahead through greater responsibility and freedom.
– Satisfaction survey (Decathlon Teammates Barometer, Great place to work, etc.)
– Participative vision process
– Seminars, learning expeditions
– Agreements, employee representative committees
(Customers, users, consumer associations, sports club)
We want people who use our products to be delighted or be delighted!
– Customer reviews (retail website, satisfaction survey, etc.)
– Customer Relations centre
– Customer input events
– Innovation Awards, Green Awards
(Media, NGOs, professional bodies, education and research, local communities, CSR experts)
To embrace dialogue in a pragmatic, transparent and sincere manner.
– Responses to requests/enquiries
– Collaborations project
– Member of commissions, administrators
– Participation in forums
(European Commission, OECD NCPs, ecology ministers; eco bodies, authorities)
To be players, not spectators
– Information sharing
– Contributing to work on methodological standardisation and recommendations
(Subcontractors for our Passion brands)
To build long-term relationships with our partners
– SD day, co-organisation
– Training courses
This map is not exhaustive; the process is currently being structured. Initiatives are in place and Decathlon will be working to continuously improve its practices in this field.
We have many challenges in common with numerous other businesses, and I strongly believe in sharing good practices in order to lend greater force to our efforts.
What is your role in the business, and – more specifically – within the Sustainable Development hub?
I have a consultation role, chiefly for the various sustainable development teams and those in our production countries. I am on hand to reinforce any ongoing projects or to implement new ones; to do this I suggest various solutions: monitoring and analysis, experience-sharing, knowledge-sharing, networking, etc. And, more generally, I communicate the year's highlights to the Decathlon teams, along with the key focus areas that could help nurture our vision and CSR strategies.
How do you select the stakeholders that you dialogue with?
I use social media networks a lot, and specialist websites, to identify key stakeholders, and I study what they communicate and what they do. This means keeping up with current affairs and closely following numerous organisations in numerous fields. Our local teams also play an important role in this monitoring and sharing of information.
What is Decathlon’s aim in this dialogue with the outside world?
Throughout the year, I engage in discussions – on behalf of the business – with different people from government authorities, NGOs and other businesses (both from and outside our activity sector), and I pay careful attention to their feedback about our strategies. Together with the team, we study their opinions and the possibility of incorporating them or not. As the issues are extremely far-reaching, it is a good idea to draw on external stakeholders to determine our priorities. We favour collaborating with organisations who tackle issues in a constructive and pragmatic manner, and who are open to sharing experiences.
We are also building on knowledge observed externally in order to identify innovative projects, and thus to directly influence company strategies.
Which are the concerns most commonly shared by our stakeholders?
One of the main concerns is the environmental management of subcontractors, and, in particular, our actions to reduce hydric stress, water pollution and climate change. Our responsible purchasing policy, and particularly the adaptation of our strategies, are also carefully studied: working conditions, building safety, fire safety, workers' pay, to name a few of the issues tackled. And, because we are a rapidly growing company, we face a big challenge in terms of the environmental impact of our products and our drive to promote sustainable consumption. We have high expectations of eco-design for our Passion brand products, and the circular economy.
How is Decathlon responding to this?
We respond by launching pilot projects, and by adjusting our CSR policy when necessary. We work hard on our CSR strategy day in, day out; we want it to be dynamic. The company makes choices and, as befits its capacity, is expected to explain these choices. It is therefore necessary to prioritise whilst remaining open to suggestions designed to continuously improve our actions and projects.
What is your best achievement? What do you particularly like about this mission?
I particularly like the project we’re doing with Impactt, to improve working conditions among our subcontractors. This initiative is designed to take us above and beyond regulatory compliance and on-site audits. When we were quoted in the NGO Clean Clothes Campaign’s report in 2014, I contacted Rosey Hurst, as her Beyond Social Compliance approach is innovative, working with subcontractors to co-create sustainable solutions that reinforce their own people management.
I particularly like collaborative working with stakeholders, as there is no competition when it comes to these CSR issues. We have many challenges in common with numerous other businesses, and I strongly believe in sharing good practices in order to lend greater force to our efforts.”
Commitments and activities
Because of the variety of our activities and our operations, we dialogue with organisations on several levels: regional, national, European and international. By way of example, below are some of our stakeholders and shared projects:
Partner of the World Forum Lille. Sharing good practices on team mate mobility at the B'Twin Village site as part of the Déclic Mobilités du Réseau Alliances initiative.
Took part in 2014 in compiling a guide on how to conduct a Greenhouse Gas emissions assessment, so as to employ a common methodology best suited to the needs of the distribution sector.
We have a seat on the FCD Environment Committee that works to promote Sustainable Development.
On the CSR Commission of the FPS since 2014 (working on the code of conduct for the FPS and on an event linking CSR and sport).
Since 2015, monitoring work by the CSR Commission of the WFSGI (sharing intelligence information, CSR practices benchmarking, webinars, etc.)
Member of the Environment Committee, so as to monitor and anticipate any future strategic and legislative developments for the European Union in terms of the environment.
Helping to write a methodological guide to quantifying the impact of a GHG reduction initiative, as well as gathering example information, taking part in the Assessing Low Carbon Transition (ACT) project trial with ADEME (French environment and energy management agency) and the Carbon Disclosure Project (a scheme that aims to quicken the rate at which businesses sign up to a low carbon economy), an environmental labelling pre-rollout project, input from the Project Committee (COPROJ) for environmental labelling for textiles.
Involved for several years in the AFNOR-ADEME working on the environmental labelling of products, aiming to define common evaluation methods for use within France.
On the supervisory board of Eco-TLC, and the scientific committee.
A member of the ORSE for several years. This organisation provides continuous monitoring of CSR in businesses across France, Europe and the world.
Working group organised by the DAEI (delegation for European and international affairs), whose members include the OECD France National Contact Point, the national CSR platform, the Ministry of Ecology, NGOs and French business from the textiles sector.
Decision to join the Benefits for Business and Workers scheme (BBW) at the end of 2014 implemented by the consultancy firm Impactt Limited.
OEF (Organisation Environmental Footprint): Taking part in a European experiment to define a common method for calculating multi-criteria environmental footprints for organisations / PEF: Taking part in a European experiment to define a common method for calculating multi-criteria environmental footprints for products.
Member of a consultative committee (with representatives from NCPs, businesses, the European Commission, multi-stakeholder initiatives, NGOs and unions) to write a guide on due diligence in the textile and footwear industries.
Decathlon joined the non-profit organization Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in January 2012. BCI encourages and strives for the development of sustainably sourced cotton to that the state of the world’s production of cotton is better for those who produce it, better for the environment where it is cultivated and better for the industry’s future.