Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions

Climate change is identified as one of the major issues that our companies must face up to. On an international level, it has considerable impact on people and the planet, but also on economies the world over, as various experts confirm, in particular those of the IPCC.

Today, Decathlon encourages the playing of a wide range of sports, the majority of which require an outdoor environment. But by observing and listening to our users and team mates, we can already see that in certain areas of the globe playing sport outside is hard to imagine because of environmental conditions. Aware of our responsibility, we are determined to help address the climate change challenge and ensure a sustainable future for Decathlon’s business activity.

Decathlon Group objectives

In 2015, we set the target to stablise the volume of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 at the same level as that for 2014 (i.e. 5,200,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent), and that this would hold true even in a growth context.

We measure the success of this objective using the results of our GHG assessment across the whole of Decathlon.

Calculating our greenhouse gas emissions

Since 2007, we have been conducting annual assessments to measure the volume of GHGs emitted right across Decathlon’s entire value chain. Updated annually, this GHG assessment enables us to:

  • identify the main sources of GHG emissions,  
  • compare the distribution of emissions sources and prioritise reduction initiatives,
  • measure the effectiveness of these reduction initiatives,
  • raise awareness among our team mates.

We use the standard GHG protocol methodology and consolidate the data from scopes 1 to 3.

As the manager for the GHG assessment project, it's my job to coordinate data collection from the various contributors. I coordinate and consolidate the company’s final GHG assessment.

Emily Aubry, GHG assessment project manager.

Feedback on our GHG assessment 2015

Breakdown of CO2 equivalent emissions in 2015

*Product:The impact of products takes into account raw materials extraction, production, use and end of life of both the Passion brands products (i.e.66%) and products of other international brands.

6,000,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent were released into the atmosphere in 2015, i.e. a 16% increase compared with 2014.

The emissions growth is currently running parallel to that of Decathlon’s economic growth. This increase is primarily due to the growth of products sold and the stagnation of eco-design initiatives. However, the work done by our teams on our buildings have brought about a reduction in emissions, e.g.:

  • modernisation work and the construction of new, more energy-efficient stores has resulted in a 6% drop in CO2 emissions in France compared with 2014.
  • optimising loading for our product containers between European warehouses reduced CO2 emissions by 3% between 2014 and 2015.

Although they help to minimise the overall deterioration in our GHG balance, we are aware that considerable efforts are still required in order to stabilise our impact.

The people making our action plan work

The GHG assessment is the result of work by various collaborators, representing each and every activity at Decathlon.

Our target is to have a representative per country, who is responsible for gathering data from their various contributors and who work autonomously to:

  • gather environmental data,
  • consolidate a GHG assessment for a specific area,
  • establish the required action plans.

The priority is currently to make local teams autonomous.


Practical solutions: a look at those involved

Each team member is required to help stabilise Decathlon’s GHG emissions, depending on their particular responsibilities and area of activity:

  • Product design: eco-design actions, for instance our design teams select product materials with less of an environmental impact. 
  • Production: environmental management of our suppliers, or the development of local sourcing, led by our production teams. 
  • Product transportation: various actions are coordinated by our logistics teams, such as optimising sourcing patterns, using multimodal transport, and maximising lorry loads. 
  • Travel: to reduce their impact, customers and team mates can opt to use soft transport methods: car-sharing, cycling, train, scooters, etc. Local schemes are encouraged. To limit its team mates’ commuting and work-related travel, Decathlon recommends they use video conferencing wherever possible.
  • Copy of Mobilité Evere (1)
    Mobility Challenge organised at the EVERE store in Belgium
  • Copy of Mobilité Evere
    Mobility Challenge organised at the EVERE store in Belgium
  • Copy of Challenge Mobilité Campus 2015
    Nord-Pas de Calais 2015 Mobility Challenge that took place on the Campus site.
  • Retail: local initiatives to choose construction materials for our sites are led by our construction teams. The same applies to improving the energy efficiency of our stores and warehouses, which is coordinated by local energy leaders =>
  • Waste management: each store or warehouse team is responsible for sorting and recycling the waste generated by their activities. =>

Successive GHG assessments conducted since 2007 show that products (taking their entire life cycle into account) are Decathlon’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Eco-design is therefore one of our definitive levers for action!

A shared IT tool for all

Since the end of 2015, we have been using an IT tool to automate part of our calculations and to make the collection process more reliable. This investment has meant that the teams responsible for the GHG assessment can now dedicate more of their time to reducing GHG emissions as opposed to calculating them!

Collaborative working to define and harmonise methods

Since the end of 2013, Decathlon has been taking part in the “Environment Footprint” project coordinated by the European Commission, for which two of its team mates are members of the Technical Secretariats.

The chief aim is to move from environmental accounting that focuses solely on CO2 emissions; to multi-criteria environmental accounting, shared by all companies, that includes data linked to the depletion of natural resources, soil pollution, biodiversity, etc.

The ACT project: Assessing Low Carbon Transition

Launched by the ADEME and the Carbon Disclosure Project at COP21, the ACT project is an international experiment that aims to speed up the rate at which companies sign up to deliver a low carbon economy.

ADEME logo

The aim is to ensure that all company action plans are in line with the aim of containing global warming below 2°C, by developing a methodology to measure companies’ commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, shared at international level.

CDP logo

The methodology will be adapted to suit the specific features of the various activity sectors. The leading three groups of sectors being trialled are energy production, the automobile sector and retail, with Decathlon being involved in the latter. An initial version will be presented at COP22.

The challenge of adapting to climate change

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In 2015, Decathlon took part in ADEME’s GHG conference and shared its experiences of its carbon accounting strategy with other businesses.
At the same time, Decathlon is monitoring the various efforts being made to adapt to climate change, particularly those led by the IPCC.