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Thinking Globally, Acting Locally at the Heart of Sport

A new sustainability strategy that encompasses community, the environment and supply chain for the 57 countries where INTERSPORT operates.

INTERSPORT is an international sporting goods retailer with a presence in 57 countries worldwide. Founded in 1968, it was the first ever international sports-based retail group. 

Recognizing the need for a sustainability strategy that encompassed the whole INTERSPORT family, it engaged Junxion to lead the process. Together we produced a comprehensive strategy focused on three pillars of activity and an action plan to deliver it.

The Challenge

Formed out of an alliance of national buying centres, today INTERSPORT is a 12 billion euro multi-category, multi-brand sports retailer with 65,000 employees and 650,000 daily customers. Faced with the world’s climate and biodiversity crisis, INTERSPORT believed the time had come to create a comprehensive sustainability strategy that applied to the whole INTERSPORT family, with group-level goals as well as detailed targets that covered operations of the entire business. 

Because each INTERSPORT store is independently owned and run, INTERSPORT needed to work across divisions and countries to co-create a shared vision and common goals for sustainability. There were a number of environmental and community initiatives in place in the 57 countries where the group operates, but these needed to be tied under common goals and targets, with a process for regular measurement put in place for all countries and divisions to report on progress. Targets and goals needed to be universal in coverage, focused on key material topics, ambitious and aligned to the science, as well as with key measures and a reporting process established. Support was also required in order to secure buy-in across the organisation, and embed action within all key departments. 

How We Helped

Junxion co-developed a sustainability strategy for INTERSPORT that encompassed community, environment and supply chain that aligned with the corporate brand strategy and messaging. Junxion also developed ambitious overarching company goals and detailed targets that ensure INTERSPORT is taking action on the most material issues, aligning action to global goals and societal expectations. 

This multi-stage work consisted of interactive workshops, clinics, board-level presentations and working sessions with stakeholders from across the business to co-create an ambitious, yet feasible strategy and relevant targets. We also developed a scorecard and guidance for tracking progress against each target. The scorecard has been completed for the first year and is now being embedded within the company’s existing reporting cycles. 

Measuring Success

The process itself was valuable for engaging people and unearthing the breadth of activities, interest and barriers to action (and solutions to overcome these) across the INTERSPORT group. The multi-stage process, with touchpoints with employees from across the business, helped to build a sense of accountability and embed ambition throughout the group, while shared goals and targets facilitate measuring and reporting progress across the company. 

The sustainability strategy has helped the business become more resilient, helped management go deep into the issues, and explore the opportunities for the company in tackling sustainability. Beyond improvements on the environment and in the supply chain, these opportunities include enhancing the sense of ‘one company’, strengthening understanding of the role of internal functions such as HR, and increasing external-facing sales. The strategy aims to help the business endure as well as make a more positive impact for people and planet.

The professional support and insights we’ve received from Junxion allowed us to take an important step forward in our sustainability journey. Planting the topic at board and senior management level creates the mandate to prioritize necessary activities across our operations. Making sustainability a key strategic pillar of our INTERSPORT 2.0 strategy integrates the topic internationally, nationally and locally, bringing new meaning to our understanding of ‘thinking globally – acting locally at the heart of sport.

– Afsah Alumia-KhanSenior Manager Sustainability and Compliance
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