May 11, 2016
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Nike sets bold sustainability strategy and environmental targets for 2020

May 11, 2016

Nike released its FY14/15 Sustainable Business Report and has set environmental goals to reduce carbon footprint and close the loop on environmental impact by 2020.

Photo: Nike

Mark Parker, Nike, Inc. CEO and President, explained, “[a]t Nike, we believe it is not enough to adapt to what the future may bring – we’re creating the future we want to see through sustainable innovation.”

With Nike’s mission statement being focused on bringing innovation to every athlete, Parker explained how the sustainability goals will be implemented, saying “[t]oday our teams are advancing ambitious new business models and partnerships that can scale unprecedented change across our business and the industry.”  

The Sustainable Business Report calls out 3 ways Nike will accomplish the goals. First it will focus on minimizing its environmental footprint by improving the product lifecycle and using more recycled materials. Second, Nike will be transforming manufacturing by using less factories that in turn can receive more focus, not just on sustainability but on worker quality of life, healthcare and education. Finally, it will invest in its own human potential, recruiting talent reflective of the diverse communities it serves.

It has also expanded its paid Family Care program, and is investing in the health of America’s youth with physical fitness programs that have already reached 10 million young athletes since 2013.

“It’s a bold ambition that’s going to take much more than incremental efficiency – it’s going to take innovation on a scale we’ve never seen before. It’s a challenge we are setting for ourselves, our collaborators and our partners as we move toward a circular economy future,” said Hannah Jones, Nike, Inc. Chief Sustainability Officer and VP, Innovation Accelerator.

As Nike expands exponentially, stating goals to reduce the carbon footprint and close the loop are increasingly relevant. Nike shipped 1 billion units in FY15. Revenue has increased 52% from FY11 to FY15, and in the face of that rapid growth, Nike has already made steps to reduce its environmental impact by reducing carbon emissions by 18% per unit.

Of the goals set for FY20, Nike aims to be 100% sustainable.

Specifically, Nike wants to have zero waste from footwear manufacturing, and it wants to source all products from factories meeting Nike’s sustainability criteria. It wants to actively reduce waste by decreasing carbon footprint 10% for each product, while still maintaining performance.

One final goal set for 2025 is to reach 100% renewable energy for owned and operated facilities, and encourage renewable practices as part of its growth strategy to continue to drive change through innovation.

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