ANTA Group and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) sign an International Partnership Agreement

Both parties will jointly invest more resources on sustainable environmental development, drive the sustainability transformation of the textile industry and enhance biodiversity conservation.

ANTA Group and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) held a signing ceremony at the Group’s operational headquarter in Xiamen, announcing that ANTA Group became WWF’s first international partner in China’s sportswear and textile industry. With the supports and resources provided by WWF’s global network and in fulfilment of goals on sustainable development and biodiversity conservation established by the United Nations, ANTA Group will start from its daily practices of environmental, social and corporate governance and collaborate with its upstream and downstream partners to promote the transformation and development of textile industry in water stewardship and packaging, reduce pressure on natural resources and the environment in the manufacturing process, advocate the principle of “reduce, reuse and recycle”, develop and apply degradable raw materials, jointly design sports products in accordance with sustainable development, and engage hundreds of millions of consumers with the global course of biodiversity conservation.          

Caption courtesy by Anta

This partnership, subsequent to the collaboration in March 2020 on promoting “Earth Hour”, one of the world’s largest public movements for the environment, represents a significant move for ANTA Group to strengthen and expand its bond with WWF. Based on a three-year collaboration framework, both parties have agreed to commit to objectives and measures as follows:

•             ANTA Group and WWF will jointly promote the Factory Assessment and Improvement System (FAIS), develop and promulgate innovative solutions for the transformation towards a greener textile industry. Both parties should share and exchange best practices of different stakeholders in the textile industry, improve supply chain management and drive industry-wide collaboration, in order to accelerate the sustainability transformation of textile factories. Specifically:- Participating in the improvement of industrial water and energy usage, industrial waste emissions and supply chain management of at least 3000 textile suppliers;- Reducing energy consumption per unit of industrial value added by 30 % and water consumption per unit of industrial value added by 22.5 %;- Reducing the total emissions of major water pollutants (i.e. COD, ammonia and nitrogen) cumulatively by 15 %, so as to lessen the worsening impact of the textile industry on the environment and scale down freshwater, climate and ecosystem footprint.

•             With respect to biodiversity conservation, both parties will jointly popularize the new consensus on harmonious coexistence of humanity and nature, and take action to reverse the dangerous trend of biodiversity loss by 2030. ANTA Group will work along with WWF to support various forest and landscape restoration projects, and the first one will be initiated in key areas of Beijing and Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, for which restoration demonstrations of 600 acres in total and vocational training programs for local farmers and residents are under planning.

•             With the partnership agreement, ANTA Group and WWF will collaboratively develop and launch biodiversity-themed, educational products to be released and marketed to potential consumers on e-commerce platforms and in flagship stores.

ANTA Group asserted that in addition to supporting joint projects in collaboration with WWF, it would also further the sustainability transformation of its self-managing supply chain system: reducing over-packaging, gradually replacing the material of plastic bags from PE to the 100%-recyclable, environment-friendly LDPE, exploring possibilities of zero or at least less plastic packaging, and using more of recyclable or FSC-accredited paper materials for paper packaging are all among measures to be implemented.

Mr. Ding Shizhong, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of ANTA Group, said, “ANTA Group partnering with WWF, the world’s most influential environmental protection organization, to promote sustainable environmental development and biodiversity protection, manifests the responsibility and mission of ANTA Group as a global corporate citizen. In the face of high uncertainty and volatility in the global environment, we must hold fast to our core values and keep our faith in a community with a shared destiny for humanity, because the sustainability of our living environment and the protection of natural resources matter greatly to every individual and every enterprise. WWF will help us adopt a global perspective and lead sustainability transformations by connecting us to relevant experts and global resources. In days to come, we will involve upstream and downstream partners, and start from ‘green’ innovation of ANTA Group’s ecosystem in order to realize goals of sustainability development steadily and thrive with nature sustainably. We should adhere to the long-term strategy and devise a holistic plan on sustainable development for the following three to five years.”

Jean-Paul Paddack, Executive Director of WWF International, in a video conference, said, “We are pleased to partner with ANTA Group, a world’s leading sportswear corporation, to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. We are keen to see companies make a difference and achieve transformations through actions to tackle deforestation, resolve plastic pollution, and improve water management and sustainable procurement of key materials, for instance, paper and pulp. We also look forward to inspiring key stakeholders to reverse the trend of biodiversity loss. ANTA Group, the Chief Partner of Public Benefits of WWF’s ‘Earth Hour2020’ in China, has now officially become our international partner. We share the same values and have had a very pleasant experience of collaboration. We feel pleased to collaborate with ANTA Group to promote the sustainable development of the global textile industry and the conservation of wildlife and biodiversity, and ultimately drive harmonious coexistence of humanity and nature.”

In recent years, ANTA Group has been striving to stimulate its vitality of scientific and technological innovation and develop environment-friendly products. The Group, so far, has produced 16 million pieces of clothes with eco-friendly fabrics, 4 million pieces with fluorine-free water-repellent fabrics, and 2.93 million pieces with organic cotton. The eco-friendly A-AWAKE ENERGY series recycled 7.7 million discarded plastic bottles, reducing plastic pollution in nature; the S.Café series recycled and used 100 tons of coffee grounds, providing a new solution to waste recycle and reuse. In addition, ANTA Group became the first Chinese sportswear corporation to join the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in Switzerland, planning to reach the goal of 50% sustainable cotton procurement in 2024. ANTA Group advocates more use of renewable clean energy and less dependence on fossil fuels. Impressively, the Group has achieved zero coal consumption for two consecutive years. Leveraging the intellectual property of “Badao” favored by young people, ANTA Group has also launched its first eco-friendly footwear collection made from degradable or recyclable materials. The Group embeds environmental protection concepts into product design, production, R&D and manufacturing. It delivers fashionable footwear and apparel as well as upholds an eco-friendly lifestyle and attitude for its consumers.

In addition to becoming an international partner of WWF, ANTA Group released its Corporate Social Responsibility Report (2019-2020), in response to the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. The Group details its responsibilities and commitment concerning consumers, employees, partners, environmental protection and community engagement, and welcomes public scrutiny. According to the Report, ANTA Group has established a strategic framework of social responsibility management with “MOVE” (Management, Optimization, Value, and Experience) sitting at its core, and has been actively practicing under this framework. In terms of partnership management, in particular, the Group empowers suppliers with a high-standard supplier access mechanism, and establishes an accountable supply chain with a comprehensive supplier evaluation and hierarchical management system.

ANTA Group is a comprehensive and multi-brand sportswear company specializing in the design, production, marketing, and operation of sportswear, accessories and other sports equipment. The Group was founded in 1991 and listed in 2007 in Hong Kong. After 30 years of development, ANTA Group has transformed itself from a traditional domestic private enterprise into a public corporation with modern management structures and international competitiveness. ANTA Group upholds and exercises the growth strategy of “Single-Focus, Multi-Brand, and Omni-Channel”. The Group owns ANTA, FILA, DESCENTE, KOLON SPORT and other sports brands that are famous domestically and internationally, which can fully meet diversified needs of consumers. In March 2019, the investment consortium composed of ANTA and other investors completed the acquisition of AMER SPORTS. ANTA Group became a global sports corporation.

Being globally renowned, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is the largest non-governmental organization dedicated to environmental protection. Founded in 1961 and headquartered in Gland, Switzerland, WWF has established offices in over 100 countries and regions around the world. The organization boasts a team of over 6,000 full-time employees and more than 5 million volunteers. As the first international NGO invited by the Chinese government to focus on environmental protection, WWF started its first project in China in 1980 for protection of pandas and their habitats. The mission of WWF is to prevent the natural environment on Earth from deterioration and to create a better future for harmonious coexistence of humanity and nature. To this end, WWF is devoted to:

•             Protecting biodiversity around the world;

•             Guaranteeing the sustainable utilization of renewable natural resources;

•             Promoting consumption activities that reduce pollution and waste of resources.

In 1996, the Beijing Representative Office of WWF was formally established. Currently, WWF has 8 local conservation teams under operation. According to Overseas Non-governmental Organization Domestic Activity Management Method of People’s Republic of China, the Beijing Representative Office of World Wide Fund for Nature (Switzerland) has finished registration at Beijing Public Security Bureau in January, 2017.