Nike unveiled a big new sustainability initiative as millions around the world prepared to strike for action on climate change
Courtesy of Nike
- Nike unveiled its comprehensive "Move to Zero" sustainability plan at its New York City headquarters on Thursday, building upon existing efforts to fight climate change.
- "At Nike, we believe that climate change is the defining environmental issue of our generation because the reality is if there's no plan, there's no sport," Nike's chief sustainability officer Noel Kinder said at an event announcing the program.
- Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, national track and field champion Vashti Cunningham, and professional skateboarder Eric Koston joined Kinder in discussing how climate change has impacted their training.
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Nike is bringing its "Just Do It" trademark motto to the fight against global climate change.
The company announced "Move to Zero" on Thursday, a comprehensive sustainability plan designed to "help protect the future of sport." The program builds upon existing company-wide efforts, including Nike's aim to power facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2025 and operate with net-zero carbon emissions.
The announcement came on the eve of the Global Climate Strike, a week-long international event in which protesters in 150 countries were expected to demonstrate in support of action on climate change. It also comes ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit next week, as global leaders prepare to discuss solutions to environmental challenges.
Speaking at Nike headquarters in New York City on Thursday, chief sustainability officer Noel Kinder delineated the company's goals and stressed that sustainability is more than just a corporate buzzword for Nike. Warming temperatures have a direct impact on the athletes the company outfits and sponsors, and as conditions shift, so too will the technology needed to perform.
"At Nike, we believe that climate change is the defining environmental issue of our generation because the reality is if there's no plan, there's no sport," he said. "And as you might imagine sports are fairly important to us."
Read more: Nike is naming its new 'advanced innovation' building in its Oregon world headquarters after LeBron James
At the event, Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, national track and field champion Vashti Cunningham, and professional skateboarder Eric Koston shared their experiences training amid warming temperatures. Nike also shared its findings on the impact of global warming on a multitude of sports - ranging from snowboarding and tennis to American football - as part of a study commissioned with the Climate Impact Lab.
We visited Nike headquarters for the announcement and got a firsthand look at an exhibit sharing Nike's findings. Here's what we learned:
Nike built out a display in the lobby of its New York headquarters, breaking down findings from its study on the impact of global warming on specific sports.
Kinder equated the company's sustainability goals to ambitious efforts like "Breaking2," Nike's buzzy 2017 project to break the two-hour barrier in the marathon.
The exhibit explains how several states have adopted rules to protect players from dangerous conditions. As a result, climate change is threatening training time and performance.
Track and field athlete Vashti Cunningham (center) shared her concerns over dangerously hot temperatures while training in her home city of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Snow sports are also in danger due to the "literal loss of playing field," Nike said.
At the event, Nike had a display breaking down the components of its FlyKnit shoe, constructed using circular design.
The display explained each component of the shoe, including the soles made out of 50% recycled materials.
It also included "grind materials," or parts of products made from recycled footwear.
Kinder said that in order to effectively instigate change, the industry will need to band together to find solutions to fight global warming and protect athletes.
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