In addition to supporting joint projects in collaboration with WWF, Anta Group will further the sustainability transformation of its self-managing supply chain system

In addition to supporting joint projects in collaboration with WWF, Anta Group will further the sustainability transformation of its self-managing supply chain system

Sportswear maker Anta Group is partnering with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in a move that will see both parties jointly invest more resources on sustainable environmental development.

Anta Group, which was founded in 1991 and listed in 2007 in Hong Kong, specialises in the design, production, marketing, and operation of sportswear, accessories and other sports equipment and owns brands including Anta, Fila, Descente and Kolon Sport. It has become WWF's first international partner in China's sportswear and textile industry.

With the support and resources provided by WWF's global network, Anta Group will collaborate with its upstream and downstream partners to promote the transformation of the industry in areas including water stewardship and packaging.

Other key areas of focus include reducing pressure on natural resources and the environment in the manufacturing process, advocating the principle of 'reduce, reuse and recycle,' and developing and applying degradable raw materials, while jointly designing sports products in accordance with sustainable development.

Based on a three-year collaboration framework, both parties have agreed to commit to a series of objectives and measures:

• Anta Group and WWF will jointly promote the Factory Assessment and Improvement System (FAIS), develop and share solutions for the transformation towards a greener textile industry, improve supply chain management and drive industry-wide collaboration to accelerate the sustainability transformation of textile factories. Specifically, this means:

  • Participating in the improvement of industrial water and energy usage, industrial waste emissions and supply chain management of at least 3,000 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 (such as 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 take action to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. Anta Group will work along with WWF to support various forest and landscape restoration projects, the first in key areas of Beijing and Xishuangbanna, Yunnan.

• With the partnership agreement, both parties 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.

In addition to these joint projects, Anta Group will reduce 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.

"WWF will help us adopt a global perspective and lead sustainability transformations by connecting us to relevant experts and global resources," says Ding Shizhong, chairman of the board of directors and CEO of Anta Group. "In days to come, we will involve upstream and downstream partners, and start from green innovation of Anta Group's ecosystem."

The group says it has so far produced 16m pieces of clothes with eco-friendly fabrics, 4m pieces with fluorine-free water-repellent fabrics, and 2.93m pieces with organic cotton.

It also became the first Chinese sportswear corporation to join the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), planning to reach the goal of 50% sustainable cotton procurement in 2024.