The workshop, discussing the industry’s actions towards a sustainable future, was organized by the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) and the Vietnamese Delegation to Geneva within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Forum 2023 from September 12 to 17.

A shoe factory in Hanoi

Sporting goods giants Adidas and Nike have chosen Vietnam as a main production base for their global supply chains. The 2020 report of Adidas said 98% of its production is located in Asia, with Vietnam making up 40%.

Diego Antoncic, Senior Manager for Government Affairs at Adidas, said as main markets of sporting goods, which are developed countries like EU members and the US, are paying more attention to and tightening regulations on environmental, social and governance (ESG), the company has been coordinating more closely with its suppliers in key regions in all aspects to ensure adherence to the rules.

Stefan Seidel, head of Corporate Sustainability at Puma, shared the firm’s environmental efforts around the globe, including in Vietnam. He said Puma has encouraged and helped factories in Vietnam to shift to solar and biomass power, reuse cooling water for fabric dyeing and washing, and improve chemical management.

Bertrand Tison, a senior member for European Public Affairs at Decathlon, noted Vietnam is the second biggest manufacturing base of Decathlon as it houses 130 partner factories and seven retail stores. As a global company with a high sense of corporate and environmental responsibility and to meet requirements of markets, especially the E.U., the firm has the responsibility for working with suppliers, particularly those in Vietnam, to reduce the carbon footprint and help fight climate change.

In a shoe production plant

Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai, head of the Vietnamese Delegation, highlighted the importance the country attaches to the sporting goods industry, noting that sporting goods have made up a large proportion of two of Vietnam’s key exports, textile - garment and leather - footwear, for many years.

Vietnam is proud to have become an important manufacturing base of globally famous brands, she said, noting that it is exerting efforts to contribute to the global shift towards sustainable development through implementing the national green growth strategy for 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050.

The country targets that by 2035, its textile-garment and leather-footwear industries will have developed efficiently and sustainably following the circular economy model. To that end, policies solutions will be carried out to elevate local production to a new height – from “made in Vietnam” to “made by Vietnam”, ensure control over supply chains, and meet market’s strict requirements for the sustainability and circularity of export items, according to the ambassador.

Source: VNA