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Nike Cuts CO2 Emissions by 4%

NikeGHGfootpringNike has reduced its overall CO2 emissions across the company and its supply chain by 4 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2009, compared to FY08, representing a return to FY07 levels, according to the company’s 2007 to 2009 corporate responsibility report.

Nike’s CO2 emissions from Nike-owned and operated facilities also declined 15 percent in FY09 from FY07 levels, and CO2 emissions from inbound logistics declined 9 percent between FY07 and FY09.

Here are some environmental highlights in the report.

Nike reports it has made progress implementing Lean and Human Resource Management training in contract factories, which is a key strategy for the company to build a lean and green supply chain. The company is also reducing waste and toxics as well as is increasing its use of environmentally preferred materials thanks to its Considered Design initiative.

Under its Considered Design program, Nike set targets for 100 percent of its U.S. footwear product reaching baseline standards by FY11, 100 percent of apparel product from the U.S., Europe and Hong Kong attaining baseline standards by FY15, and 100 percent of U.S. equipment product reaching baseline standards by FY20. Currently, 10 percent of Nike’s spring 09 footwear models and 17 percent of seasonal production volume achieved baseline considered ranking.

Nike also has created a GreenXchange (GX), a web-based marketplace designed to share intellectual property, which Nike expects will lead to new sustainability business models and innovation. GX will launch in 2010.

Nike also increased its use of environmentally preferred materials (EPMs) in footwear by 77 percent from FY06 to FY09. The company is also making progress in using EPMs in apparel, setting a goal to increase its use of EPMs to 20 percent by FY15.

As an example, Nike agreed to stop using leather imported from cattle raised on former Amazon rainforest lands last year.

The company is also working to reduce waste in the production of its footwear and apparel as well as packaging. The company has achieved a 19-percent reduction in FY09 over FY05 for waste in footwear production, and achieved a 30-percent reduction in packaging.

Between FY06 and FY09, closed-loop materials and take-back programs in footwear increased by 51 percent, to a total of more than 4.6 million kilograms, according to the report. In FY09, 11 percent of manufacturing waste was recycled back into closed-loop materials.

In FY09, Nike also achieved a 9-percent reduction in grams per pair of solid waste over FY07 and 24 percent reduction over FY05. However, when measured in total waste, rather than grams per pair, Nike achieved a reduction in FY09 of 2 percent over FY07, despite an 8-percent increase in production.

Nike also cut waste delivered to landfill from 25 percent of total in FY07 to 13 percent in FY09, and waste processed through in-house factory recycling programs increased from 8 percent of solid waste per pair in FY07 to 10 percent in FY09.

Nike is also working to cut its energy use companywide and in its supply chain. As an example, in 2008, Nike launched a footwear energy efficiency program with five contract manufacturers. So far the program has yielded a six percent decrease in absolute CO2 footprint at contract factories despite a 9 percent increase in production.

In 2009, Nike formed a new coalition of consumer companies called Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), which advocates for strong U.S. climate and energy legislation.

Nike also relinquished its position on the board of directors at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in protest over the chamber’s controversial position on climate change.

Preserving water is another goal at Nike. In FY07-09, more than 80 percent of Nike’s footwear factories were fully compliant with all local wastewater discharge standards. Every Nike-contracted footwear factory is required to have an on-site wastewater treatment plant or to discharge wastewater to a central wastewater treatment facility.

Thanks in part to some of these environmental programs, Nike topped Climate Counts’ third annual corporate climate performance scorecard with 83 points (out of a possible 100) for the second year in a row.

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