Nike’s winning ‘just do it’ attitude on sustainability

Just do it. The same phrase we’d all like to shout at our governments for their lack of action on climate change.

Well, Nike is doing it. Over the 2014/15 financial year the company has reduced carbon emissions by 18% while growing revenue by 52%. Who says companies have to sacrifice revenue to pursue sustainability? Nike has been able to continue producing superior performance wear while reducing water consumption and the environmental impact of its products.

So how is Nike doing this? Similar to many companies out there, Nike understands its business and has identified the areas where it has the most impact on the environment. For example, knowing that 60% of the environmental impact of its shoes is embedded in the materials used the company invested in sustainable materials in a move to address their impacts and to achieve closed-loop products. Closed-loop means that at the end of the products’ use its waste is collected, recycled and used to make new products. That’s the dream! An endless cycle of materials being used rather than straining earth’s resources. The company has already incorporated recyclable materials into its products, making up 71% of its footwear and apparel products.

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Nike isn’t just looking at the materials it uses, it’s also looking at how it makes its products. Chances are you’ve seen the new ‘Flyknit’ technology that the company has unleashed on its customers. Not only does it deliver maximum performance but it also produces 60% less waste than the normal cut and sew method.

“Since 2012, the technology has reduced nearly 3.5 million tonnes of waste.” – Nike

Additionally, Nike has taken tremendous strides in taking accountability for its contract facilities that produce its products. The company is transforming manufacturing by working with fewer, better contract facilities that align with Nike’s sustainability goals. Currently, 86% of these facilities meet a performance rating that demonstrates their commitment to valuing workers and improving environmental standards. With many of these facilities are located in developing countries, Nike proactive stance towards sustainability will have a global impact!

To continue its journey of sustainability the company has set new 2020 targets:

  • Zero waste from contracted footwear manufacturing sent to landfill
  • Source 100% of products from contract factories that are sustainable
  • Create products that deliver maximum performance with minimum impact (10% reduction in average environmental impact)
  • Reaching 100% renewable energy in owned or operated facilities

Want to read more about Nike’s sustainability story? Check out their website.




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