Targets & Performance
In sustainability – as in sports – what counts is how you perform on the field. A sound game plan or strategy is essential to success. Then as you progress, people want to know: How did you do? Did you meet your goals, or fall short? What was the final score?
At NIKE, we have developed a series of sustainability-related aims, targets and commitments to help ensure we are on track and making progress. The remainder of this report details our performance. It is divided into two major parts:
- Make Today Better, which covers our progress in six key impact areas and shows how we are redefining the business to improve our performance.
- Design the Future, which illustrates how we are unleashing innovation to drive our business forward and embedding sustainability into our approaches to product and manufacturing.
We provide a snapshot of our progress toward all of our aims, targets and commitments. We believe one of the best ways to see these types of change in action is through the comparison of products. We have evaluated three representative, iconic styles of footwear and the lifecycle impacts across the value chain: the 2008 Air Pegasus 25, the 2014 Air Pegasus 30, and the 2014 Flyknit Lunar 2. We provide a deep comparison of the energy, emissions, water and waste impacts of these models at every stage of the value chain as an illustration of how changes to materials and methods of manufacture – both incremental and game changing – are bringing to life our vision of decoupling growth from constrained resources.
Continuous learning will be essential, as some of our goals will be difficult to meet. For instance, we are still working, along with others in our industry, to identify a consistent, meaningful and reliable way to track progress toward our target of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020. In FY12, Converse introduced a new, 13% lighter-weight shoebox, and our new NIKE Brand shoebox will be completely rolled out by the end of FY15. The NIKE Brand box is 3% lighter, which is great progress, but will not get us all the way to our 10% weight reduction target. In each of our impact areas, we are working to solve the most pressing problems. Our footprinting work confirmed what we had long believed: that our greatest impacts, and therefore our highest priorities for progress, reside in the parts of our value chain that we do not control directly. Much of our work over the past few years has been to devise and deliver on ways to best influence those impacts – such as through our indices, which help us to rank and evaluate suppliers and help them understand our aims.
At the same time, we are increasingly aware that our key impact areas often overlap and interconnect. For example, efforts to reduce hot water usage in a factory may have the positive effect of also reducing energy usage, because less water needs to be heated. We also know our actions have far-reaching effects and consequences that are sometimes unintended – though not necessarily negative. For instance, if we can help a factory use less water – or on a bigger scale if we make factory sourcing decisions with water availability and use as a key criteria – we can help whole communities maintain or improve their access to water for personal use. Similarly, helping to improve water quality (for instance by working toward our goal of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals) can broadly help to enhance community and environmental health.
We can address a number of these issues through game changing innovations like NIKE ColorDry, developed by our strategic partner Dyecoo Textile Systems B.V. to take water out of the material dyeing process. This type of sustainable innovation takes considerable time and investment to prove and bring to scale. But the opportunity for NIKE ColorDry extends broadly, and provides quality improvements as well as water impacts: no water used, no discharge, no competition with local resources.
Another example is our decisions about where to source plant-based materials, like cotton, which have far-reaching effects on how land is used in a given community and whether there’s enough land to grow food for local populations. We are always working to identify and assess these kinds of interactions, trade-offs and consequences, recognizing that there are multiple paths to “better,” with some solutions not even invented yet.
In the end, we know the best way to tackle challenges is simply to get to work. You can only train so much. Then it’s game time. You have to perform. We report on what we’re doing, and how we’re doing, on the following pages.
Make Today Better
Design the Future
*“Global” product refers to consumer product designed at NIKE World Headquarters for a global market. NIKE Brand excludes Converse, Hurley, NIKE Golf and Jordan Brand. NIKE Brand metrics have not been restated to reflect the divestiture of Cole Haan and Umbro in FY13, or the reporting changes to Hurley and NIKE Golf effective in FY14.