Footwear giant Nike was one of the highest scoring brands in the 2021 Scorecard, and has shown leadership by being the first brand to report successfully phasing out coal from its Tier 1 suppliers, and having plans in place to address Tier 2. Overall Nike’s performance in 2023 was similar across the board. While a few of its competitors took action to overtake it, the brand lost its lead by showing limited advocacy engagement in the past 18 months. Its supply chain emissions have continued to increase over this period. Nike must do more to reduce its reliance on fossil fuel based fabrics and phase out non-organic or non-regenerative cotton, and increase its product circularity.
Key Findings for Nike
Nike has set an emissions reduction target for its own operations of 65% by 2030 which is in line with keeping warming below 1.5°C.
The company has also set an emissions reduction target for its supply chain of 30% by 2030. This target is not in line with the 55% reduction required to reduce supply chain emissions now.
Nike has set a renewable energy target in its own operations of 100% by 2025, most of which will be additional to the grid.
Nike has yet to set a target of 100% renewable energy for its supply chain by 2030, which is an essential step for decarbonising its manufacturing.
Coal phase out:
Nike has publicly set a target to phase out coal-fired boilers from 50% of its Tier 2 suppliers, having successfully phased the boilers out from its Tier 1 supply chain.
Nike publicly reports GHG emissions in its own operations, and in its supply chain. The company does provide a full breakdown of its Scope 3 emissions.
Nike does publicly report its energy use for its own operations, including a breakdown of its renewable energy use and how that energy is sourced.
For its supply chain, Nike is one of only two companies within the Scorecard to publicly report its energy use, and does provide a breakdown of its suppliers’ renewable energy use by Tier 1 and 2 manufacturing, although it does not report how that energy is sourced.
Nike provides a partial supplier list to Tier 1 and 2.
Nike does provide its suppliers with training and resources to help them make energy efficiency improvements, including deploying the Energy Minimum Program geared at achieving energy and cost savings, though it is unclear if the program also provides financial incentives for energy efficiency measures. Nike does not require them to make energy savings as a condition of contract.
Nike has already phased out coal-fired boilers from its Tier 1 suppliers, and has set coal elimination plans with 50% of its Tier 2 suppliers.
Nike provides its suppliers with training and resources to help them make energy efficiency improvements, including assisting suppliers to contract on-site solar energy.
The company does report providing financial support or incentives to make the energy transition, but does not provide details. It does not require suppliers to use renewable energy as a condition of contract.
Nike does require suppliers to disclose GHG emissions data and it does require them to set GHG emissions reduction targets. But it does not require suppliers to provide facility level data via the Higg Index.
Nike has not made any commitments to phase out fossil fuel based materials.
Nike has not made a public policy to ban the sourcing of leather from the Amazon Biome or taken measurable steps to ensure that Amazon leather is not contributing to deforestation, and the company does not have processes in place to avoid leather sourced from deforested regions. But Nike does have a general policy against contributing to deforestation through other materials including cellulose-based fabrics. NIke was found to be at high risk of sourcing leather from deforestation in the Amazon Biome according to the Nowhere to Hide report.
It is not discernible that Nike is acting to increase closed-loop apparel-to-apparel recycling for synthetics or plant-based materials, and the company has not committed to reduce the impact of its raw materials sourcing by switching to organic cotton or cotton sourced from regenerative agriculture by 2030.
Nike is acting partially to increase circularity and address overproduction by policies to improve the repairability, resale, durability and recyclability of its clothes, including creating Nike Refurbished to extend the life of eligible products and Nike Re-Creation to collect vintage and dead stock pieces for newly designed products, and aiming to design with better materials and longer life products, but it is not clear how this impact production.
Nike does publicly report its material mix and the volume of materials. But it does not report its volume of deadstock or how it manages or disposes of its deadstock to reduce waste.
Nike does report its shipping emissions annually and does include shipping emissions in its GHG reduction targets. But it does not provide a breakdown of its transportation methods.
Nike has a policy to avoid aviation and commit to slower shipping methods such as maritime, rail and land. The company is also piloting a near-term plan to ship its cargo via cleaner methods, including working with Maersk ECO Delivery. It reported a 50.5% drop in its upstream transportation and distribution emission from 2019 to 2021.
Nike has not committed to transitioning to zero emissions vessels (ZEV) by 2030. The company has not used its voice publicly to advocate for Zero Emission Shipping.
Nike has yet to commit to transitioning its last mile delivery to zero emission vehicles.
Nike is in coalition with 39 other companies to sign the Clean Energy Demand Initiative (CEDI) Global Letter of Intent. This letter calls for a global clean energy transition in partnership with governments, non-profits, and other organizations. Nike also signed a statement of mutual aspiration encouraging the government of Indonesia to accelerate a renewable energy transition to at least 50% renewable energy by 2045.
More About Nike
EngagementNike did not respond to requests
- “BREAKING BARRIERS FY21 NIKE, Inc. Impact Report,” March 2022. https://purpose-cms-preprod01.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/17210319/FY21_NIKE-Impact-Report.pdf.
- “Clean Cargo Members,”, https://www.smartfreightcentre.org/en/clean-cargo-members/.
- “Decarbonising Logistics,”, https://www.maersk.com/~/media_sc9/maersk/insights/files/decarbonising-logistics-ebook.pdf.
- “Global CEDI Statement of Intent.”
- “Nike CDP,” 2020.
- “Nike CDP,” 2021.
- “Nike CDP,” 2022.
- “Statement of Mutual Aspiration: Supporting Renewable Energy Procurement for Commercial and Industrial Sectors in Indonesia.” Clean Energy Investment Accelerator, 2021. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b7e51339772aebd21642486/t/6119c1cfc64e0324746bb812/1629077968156/Statement+of+Mutual+Aspiration+-+Indonesia.pdf.
- “Sustainable Materials,”, https://www.nike.com/sustainability/materials.