Following Greenpeace’s challenge to NIKE to clean up toxic river pollution in China, the sports-fashion goliath has picked on the picked up the gauntlet…

Nike NOHARM trainers

In support of the principles of prevention and precaution1, and in line with our overall commitment to water stewardship, NIKE, Inc.2 supports the goal of systemic change to achieve zero discharge of hazardous chemicals associated with supply chains and the lifecycles of products within one generation3 or less.

NIKE, Inc. is committed to the goal of zero discharge4 of hazardous chemicals5 by 2020.

To make this a reality, NIKE, Inc. will continue phasing out hazardous chemicals in our supply chain and we will accelerate the phase out of the highest priority6 hazardous chemicals. NIKE, Inc. will continue to work with brands, material suppliers, the broader chemical industry, NGOs and other stakeholders to achieve this goal. We will drive towards innovative solutions for transparency in chemical management disclosure.

We recognize the path to reaching this goal must be through innovation, the application of green chemistry7, and broad industry and regulatory collaboration and engagement. NIKE, Inc.’s commitment and investment towards this goal and the dedication to system change is unwavering.

We will work tirelessly to affect system change across the industry towards this goal. This commitment includes sustained investment in moving industry, government, science and technology to deliver on systemic change.

We commit to continue to share what we learn, our approaches and tools and work with others in finding new solutions and removing existing barriers, and to report progress towards comprehensive chemicals management.

Within eight weeks, NIKE, Inc. will announce its action plan for the goal of eliminating hazardous chemicals within our supply chain addressing transparency, chemical management, including how we will address the need for industry disclosure in line with right to know principles and a timeline for the elimination of the highest priority hazardous chemicals. Due to the highly complex and shared nature of supply chains, we invite others in our industry to co-create a broader action plan for the industry, as collaboration is critical to drive progress.

1 “The Precautionary Principle means that when (on the basis of available evidence) an activity may harm human health or the environment, a cautious approach should be taken in advance – even if the full extent of harm has not yet been fully established scientifically. It recognizes that such proof of harm may never be possible, at least until it is too late to avoid or reverse the damage done. The process of applying the Precautionary Principle must involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including, where necessary, the development of sustainable alternatives where they do not already exist.”

2 NIKE, Inc. includes the Nike Brand, Cole Haan, Converse, Hurley, and Umbro.

3 One generation is generally regarded as 20-25 years. However, we intend to accelerate timelines for elimination and substitution through active engagement with material and chemical suppliers and green chemistry innovation.

4 Discharge means all release pathways from our supply chain (contract factories, material suppliers, and dyeing/finishing facilities).

5 Hazardous chemicals are identified through the evaluation of intrinsic hazards including persistence, bioaccumulation and toxic (PBT), very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB), carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic for reproduction (CMR), and endocrine disruptors (ED), or other properties of equivalent concern.

6 Our approach is to prioritize hazardous chemicals that pose the greatest risk to consumers, workers and the environment.

7 Green Chemistry is the design, development, and implementation of chemical products and processes to reduce or eliminate the use and generation of substances hazardous to human health and the environment. The principles of Green Chemistry such as proactive pollution prevention and the use of inherently safer chemistries are consistent with the intentions of the Precautionary Principle.

8 A partial list of Nike tools include: the Restricted Substances List (RSL), Green Chemistry Program, Sustainable Chemistry Guidance, H2O-Insight Water Tool, Materials Analysis Tool (MAT), and the Considered Index. A partial list of current collaboration partners includes: AFIRM, BSR, CEO Water Mandate, the Apparel Coalition, Green Chemistry Institute (GCI), Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

9 Right to know is defined as practices that allow members of the public access to environmental information – in this case specifically about the uses and discharges of chemicals based on reported quantities of releases of hazardous chemicals to the environment, facility-by-facility, year-by-year.