TOGETHER, WE CAN ALL PROTECT THE ARCTIC. IT’S CRITICAL TO EVERYONE’S FUTURE.
BY HILARY KRANE
EVP, CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER & GENERAL COUNSEL, NIKE, INC.
Last summer, I had the incredible opportunity to visit Arctic Alaska. It is a region that’s as vast as it is beautiful. It is also an area that’s critical for the health of our planet. Often referred to as “the world’s refrigerator,” the Arctic plays an essential role in regulating global temperatures and counteracting climate change.
But, the Arctic is in trouble.
Experiencing accelerated effects of climate crisis, it is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the globe.
And a melting Arctic should alarm everyone. These dramatic shifts are further destabilizing temperatures around the world, and threatening one of the most vital and pristine ecosystems on the planet.
Incredibly, for some, the diminishing sea ice opens new opportunity. For the first time ever, there exists the possibility of cargo traffic through Arctic sea routes that were previously unnavigable. The draw is decreased transit times compared to traditional routes. While not yet a regular service offered by ocean container carriers, transit through the Northeast Passage is a very real possibility. Test voyages completed by some ocean carriers and studies estimate the Northern Sea Route could be used for approximately 8% of total container trade between Asia and Europe by 2030, increasing to ~10% of such trade by 2050. We do not have to accept that outcome.
The science is clear. Even with regulation, substantial and irreversible risk to the environment exists in the form of oil spills, emissions, vessel strikes and invasive species, which not only impact marine life, but also the human populations that rely on a healthy Arctic ecosystem for their livelihood. Beyond that, it’s estimated that carbon emissions from shipping via the Northeastern Passage would be significantly higher due to the need for smaller, less efficient vessels and increased fuel requirements.
It shouldn’t be an option for anyone.
At Nike, we exist to serve athletes. That means protecting the future of sport by helping to protect the planet and taking climate action through Move to Zero, Nike’s journey towards a zero carbon, zero waste future. We know climate change impacts how and where our athletes train and play, and whether they get to enjoy sport at all.
If there is no planet, there is no sport.
For Nike, this means thinking about how we design and make our product all the way through to how our products are delivered all over the world – and we’ve made a clear choice – it won’t be through the Arctic.
We’ve made a commitment to not intentionally allow our products to be shipped on vessels via any Arctic sea route. And, we’re partnering with Ocean Conservancy, a leading advocate for the oceans and waterways, to encourage all companies and industries to make the same commitment through the Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge (“Pledge”).
We’re joined in making this Pledge by Bestseller, Columbia, Gap Inc., H&M Group, Kering, Li & Fung, PVH Corp., and ocean carriers CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd and Mediterranean Shipping Company, all companies who are helping to preserve the Arctic through their commitment.
Together, we can all protect the Arctic. It’s critical to everyone’s future.
Learn more and take action here.