Decathlon India Sets Sights on Circular Economy Leadership by 2026

Decathlon India Sets Sights on Circular Economy Leadership by 2026
"By 2026, we aim for these initiatives to contribute 2.5 percent of our turnover in the country," said Annie George, Leader Sustainability Development, Decathlon India.

By Vaishnavi gupta , Assistant Editor

03 Jul 2024 | 9 min read

In recent years, sustainability has become a pivotal focus for brands worldwide. Companies are increasingly recognizing the need to adopt environmentally friendly practices to reduce their ecological footprint and cater to a more eco-conscious consumer base. This shift includes efforts such as using renewable energy sources, reducing waste, and adopting circular economy principles, which emphasize recycling, reusing, and reducing materials. By integrating sustainable practices, brands not only contribute to the well-being of the planet but also enhance their reputation and appeal to a growing market of eco-aware customers.

As part of its new brand identity and dedication to moving people through the wonders of sport, Decathlon is placing a strong emphasis on circularity. In India, it has launched several initiatives to raise awareness and promote its circular economy efforts. These efforts are designed to minimize waste and maximize the lifecycle of its products through recycling, repurposing, and innovative design.

“By 2026, we aim for these initiatives to contribute 2.5 percent of our turnover in the country,” said Annie George, Leader of Sustainability Development, Decathlon India.

Driving Circularity

In India, Decathlon has implemented several initiatives that enable its consumers to participate and contribute to being more environmentally conscious. For instance, it has implemented repair workshops, and set up a dedicated repair website offering DIY tutorials and spare parts and buyback programs to support this goal by extending the life of the products. Additionally, the brand is also actively promoting a more sustainable approach to consumption.

Decathlon India Sets Sights on Circular Economy Leadership by 2026

“Over the past 10 years, we have extended the life of over 1 million products through the maintenance and repair offers and we are aiming at a turnover of more than 10 percent through the sale of repairable products globally by 2026,” stated George.

Besides, in order to educate its customers to make informed choices and be a part of Decathlon’s efforts towards nurturing a circular economy, the brand routinely organizes events for its customers like Bike to Work, Repair melas, Clean up drives, Sports Utsav, and tree plantation drives.

Champions Product Longevity

Annie said that multiple factors such as fair pricing, affordability, and longer life of the bought-back or repaired products have been attracting more consumers to adopt a circularity of products. For instance, its Second-Hand Bikes come with a lifetime warranty on the frames, handle, and fork along with 1-year warranty on the cycle parts and a free service within 180 days of purchase.  The brand also has fair pricing on its Buyback Bikes as it wants sports to be more accessible to its customers while also allowing them to protect the planet by extending the life of its products.

Under the Decathlon Second-Life initiative which involves buy-back of used products across more than 100 categories, it aims to extend their lifespan through second-hand sales.

“With the help of this initiative, we are looking to achieve repurchases of more than 8,00,000 products globally and more than 1,00,000 products across India. Since the introduction of the scheme, we have repurchased and provided a ‘second life’ to more than 7,400 products globally and more than 15000 products in India,” she highlighted.

Advances Green Manufacturing

In India, the brand aims to reduce the carbon footprint across the production process. As a part of that, in 2022, Decathlon India announced the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Under this initiative, it currently produces 80 percent of the textiles, 80 percent of the socks, 100 percent of cricket and hockey bats, 100 percent of the nutrition range, and 95 percent of the bikes in India leading to a production of 65 percent of its total product portfolio in India. This helps it in reducing transportation emissions and supporting local manufacturers. 

Decathlon India Sets Sights on Circular Economy Leadership by 2026

“Additionally, 55 percent of our manufacturing suppliers are using green energy and contributing to our vision of achieving 100 percent green energy by 2026,” noted George.

Tracking Sustainable Impact

The brand measures the impact of its sustainability initiatives through a combination of metrics and external commitments and assesses the reduction in overall carbon footprints across its operations. For instance, its “Second Life” program tracks the number of products saved from wastage through buyback, repair, and maintenance and sees how it is extending the lifespan of its products. Decathlon participates in several external commitments to emission reduction. In February, it signed the sustainable consumption pledge, underscoring its dedication to sustainable business practices.

READ MORE: How Retailers are Embracing Sustainability & Making a Difference

What does the Future Hold?

Decathlon India’s topmost priority is to prevent products from being destroyed and to extend their lifespan through its circular initiatives. Its upcoming initiatives align seamlessly with this goal. The brand will be hosting events such as “Bike to Work” and an annual Cleanup Day on a larger scale to attract a wider range of consumers and inspire them to adopt sustainable consumption practices.

“Additionally, we plan to organize “Second Life” fairs to educate a larger consumer base on how they can contribute to a better future for the planet. We will be undertaking and investing in building awareness around how the life of the existing products can be extended by participating in our circularity initiatives,” she concluded.

In recent years, sustainability has become a pivotal focus for brands worldwide. Companies are increasingly recognizing the need to adopt environmentally friendly practices to reduce their ecological footprint and cater to a more eco-conscious consumer base. This shift includes efforts such as using renewable energy sources, reducing waste, and adopting circular economy principles, which emphasize recycling, reusing, and reducing materials. By integrating sustainable practices, brands not only contribute to the well-being of the planet but also enhance their reputation and appeal to a growing market of eco-aware customers.

As part of its new brand identity and dedication to moving people through the wonders of sport, Decathlon is placing a strong emphasis on circularity. In India, it has launched several initiatives to raise awareness and promote its circular economy efforts. These efforts are designed to minimize waste and maximize the lifecycle of its products through recycling, repurposing, and innovative design.

Featured Collections

  • Retail and Business
  • Technology
  • CPG
  • Food Service