Nike Sets Goals to Be Climate-Neutral, Reduce Packaging

Nike Sets Goals to Be Climate-Neutral, Reduce Packaging

By 2011, Nike will have improved labor conditions at all its factories worldwide, be a climate-neutral company, and reduced the waste from its products by 17 percent, according to new goals the company announced today.

Nike released its Corporate Responsibility Report for fiscal 2005 and 2006 yesterday, and a major element of the report focuses on how the company can more deeply integrate CSR goals into its long-term business strategies.

"We see corporate responsibility as a catalyst for growth and innovation" said Nike CEO Mark Parker. "It is an integral part of how we can use the power of our brand, the energy and passion of our people, and the scale of our business to create meaningful change."

On the labor side, Nike plans to eliminate excessive overtime in all its contract factories worldwide by 2011. Citing excessive overtime as one of the biggest labor compliance issues the industry faces, Nike said it has set a high priority on that and other working conditions for its nearly 800,000 contract factory workers.

Nike also released the guidelines and benchmarks the company uses to audit and evaluate factories. The tools are posted on NikeResponsibility.com, and include an extensive list of questions and guidance for maintaining the safety and environmental quality of its contract factories.

The company also announced that it would make all its facilities, retail stores and its business travel climate neutral by 2011. This announcement follows a previous goal to reduce emissions by joining the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Savers program. Nike said it has exceeded its CO2 emissions-reduction targets over the last two years through the program.

The climate commitment extends to the gases involved in its Nike Air products: the company has already ceased using fluorinated gases in all its products.

Waste reduction goals make up a big chunk of yesterday's announcement. Nike said it will redesign all its branded products -- including more than 225 million pairs of shoes sold every year -- to meet its 2011 baseline goal of reducing footwear waste by 17 percent and reducing packaging waste by 30 percent.

Nike also said it would invest $215 million more into community based sports inititives that it says can change young peoples' lives. The money, on top of the $100 million the company has already invested in such initiatives, will cover everything from building and upgrading sports facilities and playgrounds around the world to "spreading the joy of soccer" across the U.S.

In addition to these business targets, Nike announced yesterday that it will continue its commitment to supply chain transparency by updating public disclosure of the more than 700 contract factories worldwide producing Nike product. In 2005, Nike was the first company in its industry to disclose its factory base to encourage industry transparency and collaboration.