IV. Governance & Public Policy

Public Policy


We engage in public policy advocacy on issues affecting our business, our employees and our consumers. We have harnessed the power of our brand to mobilize policy makers and promote initiatives that align with our business strategy, corporate values and objectives across different policy areas.


NIKE supports efforts to create an efficient tax system by identifying and advocating for tax policies that allow us to be competitive in the global marketplace. 

Free, Fair and Sustainable Trade

We advocate for free trade by seeking improvements in existing global, multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements, as well as by seeking new, innovative agreements while challenging protectionism. We believe free, fair and sustainable trade encourages growth, investment and innovation and serves the interests of workers and consumers globally. Our objectives include seeking seamless access and open markets through the elimination or reduction of import duties, protecting intellectual property rights and establishing mechanisms that promote sustainable trade and growth. We also seek policies and government action that promote the efficient and secure transport of products. We believe we can help create opportunities for workers and communities by advocating for sensible labor and environmental provisions within trade agreements. 

Intellectual Property

We advocate for intellectual property policies that support innovation, development and consumer trust. NIKE works in partnership with local and international public authorities to support a robust and modern regulatory framework to combat counterfeiting and promote a balanced system to protect our innovative designs and products. 


We have been a strong advocate of workplace nondiscrimination legislation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered employees in the territories and geographies where we have a significant employee base. In November 2011, we completed an extensive policy review of civil marriage in the US and signed a business amicus brief that advocates for setting aside federal legislation prohibiting same-sex civil marriage. 

Access to Sport

Our policy agenda also includes the promotion of access to sport and physical activity in the various geographies in which we operate. We build coalitions and encourage governments to develop policies that promote physical activity and education in schools and places for youth to play. The solution requires a coordinated approach that considers the way our cities are designed; that schools become hubs for physical activity before, during and after formal education takes place; that our workplaces are structured to prioritize physical activity; as well as how community environments and volunteer organizations are engaged at the local level. 

We are an active champion of Designed to Move (see designedtomove.org) and have been advocating for government to rethink policies to encourage early positive experiences of physical activity for youth, and for people to integrate physical activity more effectively into their daily lives. Designed to Move lays out a framework to reprioritize physical activity within society, across all sectors, and provides drivers for ending the physical inactivity epidemic. Our goal is to create a world where sports and physical activity are not only highly valued, but an expected and enjoyable part of life. 


By collaborating with governments and other stakeholders, we promote public policies that reward innovation as well as sustainable business models. We seek to create a legislative and regulatory playing field that accelerates NIKE’s ability to decouple growth from constrained resources. 

NIKE is actively engaged in national and regional sustainability-related policy initiatives around the globe. The key policy areas we focus on pertain to sustainable materials, products and supply chains; climate change; resource efficiency; and post-consumer waste. 

As with many societal and environmental issues, no one organization can solve these challenges alone – solutions require input and collaboration between government, business, consumers and civil society. To that end, we work with other businesses through trade associations and coalitions to help drive and shape forward-looking sustainability policies. 

For example, NIKE is a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), an industry-wide group of more than 100 leading apparel and footwear brands, retailers, suppliers, academics and NGOs working to reduce the environmental impacts of apparel and footwear products. We have worked with SAC since 2009 to create an industry approach to the environmental footprinting of footwear and apparel products. We are also working with SAC to pilot test the European Union’s Product Environmental Footprint methodology. 

In the US, we helped create Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), an advocacy coalition of businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation. In 2013, NIKE, together with other leading brands, signed on to BICEP’s Climate Declaration, urging policy makers to undertake a coordinated effort to combat climate change. 

Political Contributions and Trade Association Memberships

In 2011, we undertook an extensive review of our policies and practices regarding political contributions and trade association memberships, as well as our policy positions. After this review, the NIKE Board of Directors adopted a company policy on these issues. The policy is available online at nikeinc.com. 

In the US, we make state- and local-level political contributions primarily to ballot-measure campaigns and candidates in Oregon, where our world headquarters is located. Oregon contributions are listed at sos.state.or.us. We also contribute in a limited way to state and local candidates and ballot-measure campaigns in other states. Under current US election law, employees of corporations can jointly donate to federal candidates through the creation of political action committees (PACs). Contributions from the NIKE, Inc. PAC are bipartisan, relatively modest, and are listed at fec.gov. Contributions from NIKE, Inc. are reported by calendar year, and in 2012 included Oregon contributions totaling $226,500 to 50 individuals or causes (see investors.nikeinc.com). 

In our global and territory policy hubs, we share – on applicable government registries and platforms – information about our policy advocacy, relevant trade association memberships, and individuals engaged in lobbying or advocacy on behalf of NIKE, Inc. 

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