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Nike Outlines New Sustainability Targets

Nike Inc. announced a new, broad set of sustainability targets for 2020 and beyond, promising to reduce its environmental impact, transform its manufacturing, and diversify its workforce during a planned period of growth.

The new report outlines how Nike plans to create a more sustainable future for itself, including the goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy in Nike-owned or operated facilities by the end of fiscal year 2025.

As roughly 60 percent of the environmental impact in a pair of Nike shoes is embedded in the materials used, the company says it is also seeking a 10 percent reduction in the average environmental footprint of its products, promising to increase its use of sustainable materials in a move toward closed-loop products.

Nike shared that it has already incorporated recycled materials into 71 percent of its footwear and apparel products, in everything from apparel trims and soccer kits to Flyknit yarns.

“We’ve set a moonshot challenge to double our business with half the impact. It’s a bold ambition that’s going to take much more than incremental efficiency – it’s going to take innovation on a scale we’ve never seen before. It’s a challenge we are setting for ourselves, our collaborators and our partners as we move toward a circular economy future,” said Hannah Jones, Nike chief sustainability officer.

On the manufacturing side, Nike is focused on creating technology-driven manufacturing by working with fewer factories that place “highly skilled, engaged and valued workers at the center.” By the end of fiscal year 2020, Nike said it plans to source 100 percent of its products from contracted factories that meet the company’s definition of sustainable, and plans to have zero waste from contracted footwear manufacturing sent to landfill or incineration without energy recovery.

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Nike is also overhauling its recruitment, promotion and retention processes to expand the representation of women and persons of color at all levels of the company, in a move it says better reflects the diversity of the consumers it serves.

The company is also introducing a new family care benefit package in the U.S. that will support all new parents as well as employees caring for sick family members. New mothers and fathers will receive an additional eight weeks paid time off, and employees who need to care for family members also receive eight weeks paid time off.

“At Nike, we believe it is not enough to adapt to what the future may bring – we’re creating the future we want to see through sustainable innovation,” said Nike Inc. President and CEO Mark Parker. “Today our teams are advancing ambitious new business models and partnerships that can scale unprecedented change across our business and the industry.”