Nike CSR and sustainability

   Nike Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Innovation

  Nike is one of the best known brands in sports shoes and apparel industry.  In the past it has courted several controversies related to child labor and ethics down its supply chain. However, in the recent years the brand has invested a lot in CSR and sustainability. The brand has been known for its great products and excellent marketing and advertising strategy. However, CSR activities have also an important aspect of a brand’s image. Most big brands have made heavy investments into social and environmental initiatives.  On the one hand while laws in this area have grown more stringent, on the other customers also prefer the brands with lower environmental impact. Some two decades ago, the brand was facing heavy criticism for low wages and difficult working conditions as well as for the use of child labor down its supply chain.  However, in the last decade Nike made major improvements that  have changed its image a lot since then. In both the areas of CSR and sustainable business,  Nike has achieved major milestones.

In the recent years, Nike’s focus is on halving its environmental impact while doubling its manufacturing rate. It is focused on creating a better future for the world and the communities in which it operates through sustainable innovation. Sustainable innovation is the key to a better future and therefore Nike has increased its focus on sustainability since it has the potential to revolutionise the way Nike does business.

Nike CSR and Sustainability Main points:

– Commitment to reducing carbon footprint

– Innovative manufacturing.

– Keeping human voice at the heart of everything it does from manufacturing to marketing.

– Develop new palette of sustainable materials.

– Inventing close loop products.

– Moving to complete renewable energy.

– Diverse workplace and inclusive culture that becomes catalyst for innovation.

– Investing and encouraging employees to invest in communities and markets where Nike operates.

– Nike is concerned about its carbon footprint and how the brand affects the environment. While in the recent years, it has continued to reduce its carbon footprint by investing in innovative products and operations , it has also set ambitious targets for itself in the near future. The brand has set a target of reaching 100% renewable energy for itself by the year 2025.

– In its innovative manufacturing model the brand, the brand has kept workers and their voice at the centre. Apart from innovating the role of the workers, the brand has also focused  on innovating the role of technology and innovating its supply chain. It has set a code of conduct for its suppliers and only keeps the suppliers that are focused more than just on compliance. Technologies like Pegasus and Flyknit have helped the brand control its carbon footprint as well as maximise its efficiency.

– Most of the environmental impact of the Nike shoes comes from the material used in it. It is why Nike has formed coalitions with others like Sustainable Apparel Coalition and LAUNCH for making  innovative material to be used in its products.  Nike is focusing on creating low impact material that can help it move towards a high performance closed loop model where it can use reclaimed material from the start.

– Nike is innovating further so waste material can be reused to create value and its designers have already assembled a palette of 29 high-performance materials collected from Nike’s waste. Right now, the waste material left from Nike’s shoes are being used in tennis courts, athletic tracks and Nike shoes.  It is also using better cotton, recycled polyester, environmentally preferred rubber and certified leather to further lower its environmental impact.

– In terms of employee welfare too, the brand has focused heavily on developing a culture and inclusive workforce that  helps it maximise its efficiency and impact. It is focusing on attracting and developing a highly diverse and well engaged workforce. Nike is also investing in community based initiatives. It gives its employees the opportunity to be Nike community Ambassadors and volunteers. Employees apart from donating labor, also donate cash to charities and institutions. In fiscal year 14/15 apart from 48000 hours of volunteering, Nike and its employees donated $6.2 millions in cash to schools and charities of their choice. It is also reaching kids in various parts of the world including China to make them  physically active from a young age. In 2015, it invested 1.9% of pre tax income into community initiatives. The amount equalled 78.2 million US dollars.

– In this way, Nike is now strongly committed to improve the quality of life for people in the communities where it operates. Apart from that, it is investing continuously in innovative technologies and waste reuse so as to minimise its environmental footprint. The brand is investing in better raw material and production methods which reduce wastage and improve efficiency. In the past, Nike has faced severe criticism over child labor and other issues. However, in the last decade, it has done a lot to manage its reputation and to reduce its impact on environment.

Sources:

Business Insider _ Nike’s Sweatshop Problem

Nike Fiscal year 2014 -2015 Sustainable Business Report

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