Nike continues to cut emissions and grow profits

Clare Saxon Ghauri
8 May 2014

LONDON: Nike has released an update on its sustainability plan, showing progress the leading sports retailer is making in decoupling growth from resource constraints to reduce its carbon footprint.

The FY 12/13 Sustainable Business Performance Summary charts Nike’s success across key areas of climate and energy, chemistry, water, waste, labour and community.

Nike reduced absolute greenhouse gas emissions by almost 3% across its value chain since its 2011 baseline, despite increased revenues of 26% over the same period.

Nike, a member of The Climate Group, also highlights how it has introduced break-through technologies such as Flyknit, which reduces waste compared to traditional footwear manufacturing, and ColorDry, which cuts energy use, water and chemicals from the dyeing process.

Partnering with NASA, US Agency for International Development and the US Department of State on LAUNCH, which aims to uncover innovations in sustainable materials with a positive impact on people and the planet, has also allowed Nike to experiment with reshaping the industry on a much larger scale than it could do alone.

Mike Parker, President and CEO, Nike, commented on the Summary update, highlighting how the company is focused on turning risks into innovation opportunities: “The world in which athletes and companies compete is changing fast. We believe business has a critical role to play in meeting the challenges of a changing world – addressing climate change, preserving the earth’s constrained resources, enhancing global economic opportunity – not by reducing growth but by redefining it. To do this we believe businesses must embrace sustainability as an innovation opportunity and governments should act to create the right policies and incentives to accelerate change at scale.”

Earlier in the year, Nike, scored 7th place in a ranking of the world’s most innovative companies by The Fast Company. The magazine credited Nike for its Making app, an index that lets companies measure the environmental impact of materials, as well as LAUNCH.

Amy Davidsen, US Executive Director, The Climate Group, commented: “Nike is always thinking of new and exciting ways to embed sustainability across its business, from its cutting-edge Flyknit design to cutting waste in production and reducing energy use in logistics. This pioneering work has positioned the company as a sector leader, and working with The Climate Group, as well as through partnerships such as LAUNCH, it will continue to both profit and drive positive change in the industry.”

nike sole

Graphic showing energy use in production, from Nike's sustainability summary

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By Clare Saxon

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