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ASICS Publishes 2016 Sustainability Report Annual update tracking progress towards 2020 targets

REGIONAL: Global
RELEASE DATE: 2017.05.24

KOBE, Japan (May 24, 2017) – ASICS Corporation (Tokyo: 7936; ISIN: JP3118000003), a leading global company in the field of sporting goods has released its 2016 Sustainability Report. The document summarizes the company’s sustainability performance for fiscal 2016 and outlines progress towards its medium-term sustainability targets.

Highlights of 2016 Sustainability Report
- Launched an energy efficiency project in Europe aiming to actively increase use of renewable electricity
- Global launch of new store concept with several innovative sustainability features
- Continued expansion of supplier management scope to include Tier 2 suppliers
- Contributed over $690,000 in financial donations to communities, along with over $1,300,000 of donations in kind (including footwear, apparel and sports equipment)
- Second consecutive year of inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index, and first inclusion on FTSE4Good Global Index- Achieved industry
- leading B rating from CDP (former Carbon Disclosure Project)

“2016 was a special year for the ASICS Group. This was the year we kicked off our new five-year ASICS Growth Plan, embarking on an ambitious new set of sustainability targets towards 2020. We’re committed to striving harder than ever to keep improving our sustainability performance in everything we do,” said Motoi Oyama, Chairman, President and CEO of ASICS Corporation.

Overview
2016 saw the continuation of a number of energy efficiency projects. ASICS Europe launched a centralized review of energy procurement and updated its electricity contracts, switching about 300,000 kWh to renewable energy and saving 100 tons of CO2. In addition, locations in Japan including the headquarters switched to a supplier offering lower carbon intensity electricity at a lower cost.

In addition, ASICS launched its new Global Retail Concept with the opening of a new flagship store in Brussels. By incorporating sustainability at the core of store design and operation, ASICS will reduce the impact of its retail operations in 2017. Key features include LED lighting, energy efficient systems and floor materials in addition to hangers, mannequins and other POS components made from certified sustainable and/or renewable materials.

2016 also saw a major refit of the ASICS footwear factory in Japan, with the installation of solar panels, LED lighting and a real-time electricity monitoring system. These measures have helped reduce the factory’s overall CO2 emissions by about 12%. Moving forward, ASICS plans to use the factory as a test lab for green innovation and trials of energy-efficient manufacturing processes and technologies.

Additionally, ASICS expanded its scope of auditing to include Tier 2 suppliers. This expansion will help ASICS to ensure that human rights are respected throughout its supply chain, and also to manage its environmental impact since Tier 2 is the part of the supply chain responsible for fabric dyeing and other industrial processes that involve potentially harmful chemicals. ASICS also organized training sessions in collaboration with independent partners, such as the International Labour Organization’s Better Work programme, for both Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers to give them the knowledge and understanding necessary to further improve their performance.

In 2016, ASICS contributed over $690,000 in funding to communities in addition to donations in kind worth over $1,300,000. Moreover, ASICS for the first time created a consumer and community engagement platform in Europe. During the holiday sales period in the last two months of 2016, consumers were invited to donate a small amount to one of ASICS Europe Group’s charity partners with every purchase made at a retail location or a local ASICS online store. The campaign generated 24,379 donations across 85 retail locations and online stores. The majority of donations were made to ASICS Europe’s long-term charity partner Right To Play. Donations made by ASICS customers will enable 3,432 children to participate twice a week for a year to Right To Play’s educational sports and play programs.

Outlook for 2017
In 2017, ASICS expects to double its total use of renewable electricity in Europe, with the result that renewable sources will account for 10% of the company’s total global electricity usage. Furthermore, ASICS plans to conduct energy efficiency audits in its most energy-intensive locations and implement efficiency improvements where necessary. In addition, the company will also publicly disclose which suppliers it partners with in the manufacturing of ASICS, ASICS Tiger and Onitsuka Tiger footwear, apparel and accessories.

Progress towards 2020 CO2 Reduction Targets
In 2015, ASICS committed to the Science-Based Targets Initiative1 and set two emission reduction targets. These were a 5% absolute CO2 reduction from direct operations, and a 10% reduction in CO2 impact per pair of shoes produced in Tier 1 footwear factories (both relative to a 2015 baseline). ASICS aims to meet these environmental targets while also achieving its business target of increasing sales by over 70% between 2015 and 2020.

In 2016, despite the continuation of several energy efficiency projects, the company’s CO2 emissions increased 6.5% from the baseline year due to a near doubling in the number of retail locations from 444 to 867. This increase was in significant part due to the conversion of outlets in Korea from partner stores (not included in the initial total) to ASICS-owned stores. However, a comparison of total emissions to business revenue also shows a decrease in efficiency, with CO2 emissions per unit revenue increasing by 14% over 2015. It is clear that the company needs to accelerate energy efficiency projects in order to both increase efficiency and reduce absolute emissions in 2017.

The 2016 Sustainability Report and 2016 Highlights can be found at
http://corp.asics.com/en/csr/csr_reporting

For further details on ASICS’ CSR and sustainability activities, please go to
http://corp.asics.com/en/csr

ASICS' 2016 sustainability report is structured according to the GRI G4 sustainability reporting guidelines. Our separate GRI G4 Index table will be published online mid June 2017 in alignment with the publication of our financial annual report on fiscal year 2016.

Footnotes:
1. Science-Based Targets Initiative: This partnership between CDP, UN Global Compact, WRI and WWF helps companies to determine how much they must cut emissions to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. It supports companies in establishing emission reductions targets in line with scientific consensus on how to limit global warming to 2°C compared to pre-industrial era temperatures.

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