How Sustainable are the Workplaces of Athletic Wear Brands?

By: Alexandra Kueller

Last week we introduced SSC’s latest peer benchmarking analysis, and this week we will take an in-depth look at each dimension.

A sustainable company has a responsibility to ensure a safe, healthy, and equitable workplace for their employees and contractors. In SSC’s peer benchmarking analysis, we look for companies that go beyond the legal requirements mandated by workplace laws and regulations. Acceptable companies are able to tie their workplace practices back to the success of their companies.

Overview of the Workplace Dimension


  • Nike – 19
  • Adidas – 21
  • Puma – 18
  • Lululemon – 2
  • Under Armour – 0

During our analysis of the workplace dimension, one common trend kept appearing among all of the companies: there were the top dogs, and there were the laggards. Nike, Adidas, and Puma are all leading the way in this dimension. With strong results in the diversity, health & safety, and training & education categories, along with points in working conditions as well, these companies have demonstrated workplace excellence. Under Armour and Lululemon are on the lower end of the spectrum, with the latter only briefly mentioning working conditions on their website.


The diversity category was a very strong category for Nike, Adidas, and Puma (Nike and Puma received full points). All three of those companies had very strong programs and policies regarding diversity, and they also provided detailed performance metrics. Lululemon and Under Armour did not mention diversity in any of their website materials.

Health & Safety

Just like diversity, the health & safety category had Nike, Adidas, and Puma scoring the highest points and Lululemon and Under Armour receiving zero points. Adidas and Puma were the two companies that received full points and Nike was not far behind.

Training & Education

The trend continues with the training & education category: Nike, Adidas, and Puma were the top performers and Lululemon and Under Armour were the underachievers. This time around, Nike was the only company to receive full points.

Working Conditions

The working conditions category was the only category where more than three companies received points; Lululemon was the additional company in the category on top of Nike, Adidas, and Puma. While the previous categories were strong for any reporting companies, Adidas was the only company to supply solid policies, programs, and performance data. The other companies only briefly mentioned a policy or some supporting programs.

Missed our second dimension analysis earlier this week? Catch up right here!