- 09 December 2010
- Why has Nike come to Cancun? What role can Nike play in this kind of forum?
Nike is a global company with an extensive supply chain. Climate change and the related systems impacts represent potential business risks for us. We are deeply committed to the concept of a clean energy economy, believing that early action on this issue will provide us with an advantage. We hope that by coming together, the industry can move these important issues forward.
For example: climate change poses a potential threat to the availability of water in many countries. Both cotton cultivation and textile manufacturing depend heavily on water. We have estimated that roughly 3 billion gallons are needed each year to dye and finish cotton and polyester for Nike apparel.
- Why does Nike support establishing a price on carbon?
We need a price on carbon and the right policy instruments to provide transparency, longevity and consistency for market based solutions. We want to be able to access abundant clean renewable energy at the right price, and low carbon materials.
- What plans does Nike have to become a more sustainable business over the next few years?
Nike has been on a journey to lower our environmental footprint since the early 1990s.
Earlier this year we committed to sharing our patents on the GreenXchange, like green rubber, to promote the creation and adoption of technologies that have the potential to solve important global or industry-wide sustainability challenges.
We’ve just released our Environmental Apparel Design Tool in the hope of accelerating and scaling collaboration between companies in our industry, fast-tracking sustainable innovation and ultimately decreasing our collective footprints in the area of toxics, waste, energy and water.
In 2011, we plan to share our Footwear Design Tool, as well as our Water Tool.
- How are Nike's customer preferences changing? What role can Nike have in boosting environmental awareness among its customers?
Nike’s young consumers are passionate about climate change and the qualitative research that we have done has shown that they expect us to take a lead and believe that advocating for action on these issues is the right thing to do.
Consumers can purchase Nike Considered Design products which minimize environmental impact by reducing waste throughout the design and development process, use environmentally preferred materials, and eliminate toxics.
We hope to continue to use the power of our brand to mobilize efforts around these important issues in the industry. As a founding member of BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy), we are increasing our advocacy voice to: stimulate green job growth to help reboot the economy; create a level playing field and certainty for investors through a cost on carbon; and unlock innovation that is essential to help create technology and infrastructure solutions.
- How can business best encourage meaningful action on climate change from their government representatives?
Businesses can do a couple of things. Firstly, they can present a compelling business case for why action on climate change is important. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, business can offer tangible examples of innovation, energy efficiency and successful deployment of renewable energy, which brings to life a vision of a new, low carbon economy.
- How can business work more effectively with government on climate change solutions, and vice versa?
Businesses must continue to demonstrate how climate change is impacting their business and how moving forward on pricing carbon, promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy alternatives spurs innovation and benefits the economy.
At the same time, Government must step up and take action to address climate change through negotiation, legislation and regulation – because it will provide the certainty needed for business to continue to innovate and plan for their business growth in the future.
Hannah Jones is Nike Inc’s VP of Sustainable Business & Innovation (SB&I), as well as the lead on Nike Inc’s Government and Public Affairs strategy. As VP of Sustainable Business & Innovation, she leads the team mandated with enabling the company to thrive in a future state sustainable economy through closed loop business models. Nike defines the sustainable economy as an economy where people, planet and profit are in balance. The SB&I team's role is to fuel and hothouse sustainable innovation, embed sustainability into the heart of the business model and mobilize key constituencies (employees, consumers, policy makers, civil society and other industry) to enable a rapid transition to a sustainable economy.
Hannah is a founding member of the business advisory council to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), chairs the Sustainable Consumption initiative for the Consumer Industries grouping of the world economic forum, and was named a Global Young Leader by the World Economic Forum in January of 2007.