Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. We believe it’s something companies have a responsibility to address—so we’ve set ambitious targets to reduce our carbon footprint.
Our goal for 2025 is to use 100 percent renewable energy in our owned and operated facilities, and to catalyze momentum toward broader adoption of renewable energy in our supply chain. Today, our World Headquarters in Oregon, European Headquarters in the Netherlands, and European Logistics Center in Belgium use 100 percent renewable energy.
In 2017, global carbon emissions hit a record high. The impact of climate change—including extreme heat, severe storms, sea rise, pollution and drought—will be felt globally. The effects of climate change have an impact on the athletes we serve and can pose challenges to our business.
We want a world where everyone can thrive on a healthy planet. To achieve it, we have a role to play in combating climate change. We must reduce our impact and help the rest of our industry do so as well.
We’re making our value chain more resilient by reducing costs and innovating new operating models, such as planning for resource scarcity, price fluctuations and disruptions. We need to work with our suppliers, partners and the industry as a whole to combat our shifting climate so we can sustain our planet as we know it.
We are reducing our carbon footprint, but as a company with a global supply chain and facilities around the world, climate change is a threat to our business and the livelihoods of everyone who works for and with us. We’re making our value chain more resilient by reducing costs and innovating new operating models, such as planning for resource scarcity, price fluctuations and disruptions. We need to work with our suppliers, partners and the industry as a whole to combat our shifting climate so we can sustain our planet as we know it.
A major factor in combating climate change is keeping our carbon footprint as small as possible. To this end, we are:
- Sourcing innovative low-impact materials
- Driving energy efficiency within our supply chain
- Increasing renewable energy use throughout our operations and encouraging broader adoption throughout our supply chain
- Collaborating with other organizations (corporate peers, government, and NGOs) to scale impact and create better market conditions for clean energy.
The materials we use—from growing crops to dyeing and finishing textiles—have the greatest environmental impact in the entire product lifecycle. Using better more sustainable materials is the strongest way we can improve our overall environmental performance.
We use more than 16,000 materials in our products each year; a single pair of shoes can contain up to 30 materials. Our Materials Sustainability Index encourages our product creation teams to choose better materials from better vendors by comparing 57,000 different materials from over 700 vendors.
We’re also improving the carbon footprint of high-volume materials by using recycled polyester, sourcing more sustainable cotton–including organic and Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) licensed cotton, and using innovative technologies like ColorDry to reduce the amount of water and chemicals used to dye fabrics.
Dyeing and finishing textiles is one of the most energy-intensive processes in our value chain. Our Energy and Carbon Program for dyeing and finishing suppliers is designed to drive energy efficiency by building their organizational capabilities, improving steam boiler systems and implementing best practices for system maintenance.
We have developed a 2025 renewable energy roadmap that, in part, aims to expand our responsibly-sourced biomass renewable energy program with a focus on our materials suppliers.
Converting materials into finished products takes a lot of energy, especially when it’s footwear, and particularly outsoles. Through our Energy and Carbon Program for finished goods manufacturing, local Nike teams work with contract factories to identify opportunities for reducing energy use and emissions. Since we launched this effort in 2008, our Nike Brand footwear suppliers have reduced their energy use by 55 percent. That means, today it takes less than half the energy to make a pair of shoes than it did ten years ago.
Reducing energy use is just half the story. Our suppliers are also switching to renewable sources of energy that are cleaner than fossil fuels. Our approach to accelerating renewable energy in contract factories has three components:
- Installing solar photovoltaic (solar PV) systems on factory rooftops to provide up to 45 percent of the electricity use of supplier operations.
- Advocating for policies that allow our suppliers to directly source renewable electricity from local power authorities, in addition to bringing together renewable energy developers, contract manufacturers and materials suppliers to invest in on-site renewable energy.
- Expanding our responsibly-sourced biomass renewable energy (energy from wood, crop waste or trash) program with a focus on our materials suppliers.
We primarily use ocean shipping to move products from where they are made to where they will be sold. We aim to use as little air freight as possible, given it’s about 25 times more carbon intensive than ocean shipping. We are piloting several initiatives to make shipping more efficient and to reduce our carbon emissions. We’re also working with logistics providers to create improvements and innovations.
For many years, we have utilized renewable energy generation at some of our largest distribution facilities, including solar panels and wind turbines. However, extreme temperatures have meant that some of our facilities are using more energy than we’d like.
We have energy, waste and water requirements that all new and existing distribution centers must meet, and are developing plans for existing facilities that don’t meet those requirements.
Today, all our owned distribution centers in North America are powered by renewable energy. We are still working to bring renewable energy to our largest logistics footprint in Memphis, TN.
Additionally, two of our largest distribution centers are LEED certified: our North America Logistics Campus, in Memphis, TN is LEED Silver and our China Logistics Center, in Taicang, China, is LEED Platinum. We are also pursuing LEED certification for five other distribution centers.
Our owned or operated facilities make up a relatively small portion of our total carbon footprint, but they are where we have the most direct influence and control. Soon, 100 percent of our North America offices and retail stores will be powered by renewable energy. We are designing our offices ans stores to meet LEED standards and have made significant investments in efficient lighting and energy management systems.