Sportswear company Nike recently vowed to enhance its sustainability initiatives by using more green materials and chemicals in its consumer products and increasing sustainable practices across its domestic and offshore manufacturing processes. The changes will have a significant impact on Nike's current manufacturing procedures, as its enormous global supply chain is spread across almost 50 countries, includes more than 800 contracted factories and has several hundred textile suppliers.
A history of sustainable initiatives
This isn't the first sustainability move the company has made in recent years. In 2001, Nike created a list of restricted substances, which limited the amount of hazardous chemicals suppliers and manufacturers responsible for creating Nike products were permitted to use in their production processes. Since then, the corporation has pushed its chemical suppliers and manufacturers to invest in more green chemistry and emphasized the importance of safe chemicals and procedures.
In recent months, Nike joined several other companies as it developed a strategy to measure the impact its products and global supply chain have on the environment. The program looks at energy and water use, waste and toxins released throughout the manufacturing process.
With its latest move, Nike will be able to better screen potential suppliers and more efficiently reduce the use of toxic chemicals in its facilities. This will allow the company to engage in strategic sourcing as it becomes more familiar with which firms are phasing out hazardous dyes and detergents.
"Nike is committed to catalyzing a major change in the world of materials, driving for the elimination of hazardous substances and innovating new, sustainable materials," said Hannah Jones, vice president of sustainable business and innovation at Nike. "To shift to a palette of entirely sustainable materials, multiple stakeholders must work together to innovate new chemistry, encourage the use and scale of better chemistry, and eliminate harmful chemistry."