Nike Inc 'on the ball' with broader CSR commitment

Just days after it announced it was returning to manufacturing footballs in Pakistan with a new local partner and stringent codes of conduct for all stakeholders, Nike Inc has announced a series of business targets for 2011 that more deeply integrate corporate responsibility goals into the company’s long-term growth and innovation business strategies. The targets set benchmarks to improve labor conditions in contract factories, create a climate neutral company, drive sustainable product design and innovation, and unleash potential by giving youth greater access to the benefits of sport.

“We see corporate responsibility as a catalyst for growth and innovation” Mark Parker, Nike Inc’s President and CEO, said. “It is an integral part of how we can use the power of our brand, the energy and passion of our people, and the scale of our business to create meaningful change.”

The corporate responsibility business targets set by Nike include:

Improve labor conditions by eliminating excessive overtime in Nike brand contract factories by 2011. Excessive overtime is one of the most serious ongoing labor compliance issues the company and the industry face. Nike’s priority continues to be improving conditions for the almost 800,000 contract factory workers who make the company’s products.

Make all Nike brand facilities, retail and business travel climate neutral by 2011. Nike has exceeded its reduction targets for CO2 emissions over the last two years through the World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Savers program. The company also eliminated fluorinated gases (F-gases) across all Nike brand products following 14 years of research and development in the company’s Nike Air cushioning system.

Design all Nike brand footwear (more than 225 million pairs per year) to meet baseline targets by 2011 for waste reduction in product design and packaging, elimination of volatile organic compounds and increased use of environmentally preferred materials. All Nike brand apparel is targeted to meet baseline standards by 2015, and equipment by 2020. Nike is designing sustainable innovation solutions into its products that the company anticipates will create benefits throughout its supply chain and support achievement of its targets.

Invest in community-based initiatives that use the power of sport to unleash potential and improve the lives of youth. Over the past two years, Nike has invested $100 million in community-based sport initiatives. The company is targeting a minimum investment of $315 million through 2011.
In addition to setting business targets, Nike continues its commitment to supply chain transparency by updating public disclosure of the more than 700 contract factories worldwide producing Nike product. In 2005, Nike was the first company in its industry to disclose its factory base to encourage industry transparency and collaboration.

For the first time, Nike also has posted on the company’s contract factory auditing tools. The tools help to provide further transparency and insight into how the company evaluates and monitors its contract factories for compliance with company standards.