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NIKE's Sustainability Report Shows Company Reducing Environmental Impact While Continuing To Grow

Stocks in this article: NKE

NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) today released its FY12-13 Sustainable Business Performance Summary, providing an update on performance against current business, labor and environmental goals as the company works toward its goal of decoupling profitable growth from constrained resources. The report, which outlines both successes and challenges, shows NIKE is making progress across key impact areas of climate and energy, labor, chemistry, water, waste and community.

Evidence of the company’s progress includes an absolute reduction of carbon emissions of close to 3 percent across the whole value chain from its FY11 baseline, while revenue grew 26 percent over the same period. Production also grew while the company fulfilled its strategic aim to source from fewer, better-performing contract factories, with a 14 percent reduction – from 910 to 785 factories over the last two years.

Some of the challenges in the industry include the rate at which environmentally preferred materials are becoming available at competitive pricing in the market and the rate at which the market adopts new green technologies. In addition, NIKE continues to focus on ways to drive ongoing improvements where significant previous reductions have already been realized.

The report also outlines the company’s approach to understanding and addressing the meta-trends facing business. In addition, NIKE provides a transparent ‘big-picture’ view of the impacts across its entire value chain, from growing and processing materials to a product’s end of life, and the steps of manufacturing, transport, distribution and selling in between. The report shows how the company is focusing on innovating in the areas where the greatest impacts of its business lie, including materials and manufacturing.

“NIKE’s success as a growth company is tied directly to our culture of innovation. Today we believe that sustainable innovation that benefits the athlete, the company and the planet will play a key role in the future of our business,” writes NIKE, Inc. President and CEO, Mark Parker, in the report’s introduction. “We believe business has a critical role to play in meeting the challenges of a changing world – addressing climate change, preserving the earth’s constrained resources, enhancing global economic opportunity – not by reducing growth but by redefining it.”

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