Nike: Working Towards a Better World

Sports have always been an important part of my life.

Whether it’s basketball, baseball, tennis, football, swimming, running or soccer, I’ve always been involved in sports in some aspect or the other.

Playing sports has kept me fit and out of trouble. It’s taught me individual (strength, perseverance) & team (interpersonal, collaboration) skills.

Most importantly, sports have taught me responsibility.

My actions (big or small), always have an impact on myself, teammates and the game. By being accountable, it’s forced me to always strive to become better.

Better World

Nike is a brand that’s synonymous with sports.

Seek high performance in any sport, and you’ll find a Nike product that is specifically designed to help you do better.

In recent years however, Nike has opened up its “better” focus towards positively impacting society, and the environment.

Earlier this year, Nike launched its corporate responsibility micro-site “Nike: Better World” with one mission: Make the world better through sport.

Start of by watching their Better World Film, made completely by recycling all of their old adverts

Better Products. Better Environment

A large company like Nike uses a lot of resources to produce its shoes, clothing and equipment.

Through Considered Design, Nike creates performance innovation products that minimize environmental impact by reducing waste throughout the design and development process, by using environmentally preferred materials and eliminating toxics.

At 21 million lbs, Nike is the 3rd largest purchaser of organic cotton, resulting in the elimination of 7 million lbs of agricultural chemical.

Their designers also make smart, sustainable design choices at the start of their creative process, working to achieve breakthroughs to solve the big problems that hinder progress toward a sustainable future.

Nike’s Free TR Fit Women’s running shoe is designed with a lower eco impact using environmentally preferred rubber, water-based cementing and recycled polyester.

Nike Reuse-A-ShoeIn addition to this, you can donate your used work out shoes to Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program, which uses the grinded shoe material in its products.

Since its inception, over 25 million pairs of shoes have been recycled.

The Nike Grind shoe recycled material is also used in basketball courts. The brand has partnered with the New York City Department of Your & Community Development to install and refurbish 25 basketball courts throughout New York City, giving approximately 10,000 kids access to play ball.

Another recycling initiative was when Nike used about 8 plastic bottles to create each of it’s 2010 World Cup Football (Soccer) jerseys, resulting in the diversion of nearly 13 million plastic bottles from landfills.

Nike’s shoe boxes are also made of lighter, yet stronger material. Starting this year (2011) Nike’s using 23% less material for every box, saving about 200,000 trees annually in the process.

The cool thing about the technology that Nike is creating is that it’s open source.

In conjunction with the Creative Commons, Nike’s developed the GreenXchange - offering their patents to license to other footwear companies, allowing them to further reduce their environmental footprint.

Better Initiatives. Better Society

Nike N7 logoN7: Nike N7 initiative is their commitment to bring the benefit of sport to Native American and Aboriginal communities in North America.

N7 products, fund and events are designed to help Native American and Aboriginal youth recognize their proud history, and build on their future.

Homeless World CupHomeless World Cup: 64 National football (soccer) Teams comprised of socially marginalised players from across the world are brought together for seven days of hard-edged street soccer – 71% of whom significantly changed their  lives after the competition.

Since its first tournament in Graz, Austria in 2003, the homeless world cup has also triggered over 70 grass roots football (soccer) programs worldwide, engaging over 100,000 homeless people.

Product RED + NikeLace up to Save Lives: In conjunction with Product(RED), 100% of profits from Nike’s (RED) laces goes towards the Global Aids Fund, and to soccer based programs that help fight AIDS in Africa.

As part of their AIDS initiative, Nike built a football (soccer) training center in Soweto, South Africa – giving approximately 20,000 young players access to high-end training facilities, top-level coaching and HIV education.

Livestrong LogoLivestrong: Founded by Lance Armstrong (7 time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor), Livestrong and Nike created a yellow bracelet to inspire and empower people to fight cancer.

The program was developed to help raise money for cancer research, increase cancer awareness, and encourage people to live life to the fullest.

To date, Livestrong has sold over 80 million bracelets, turning the program into a full-fledged healthy living movement, encouraging and empowering everyone to participate.

Invited and encouraged to participate on every level, get involved in these amazing Nike initiatives through their Better World website.

Just Do It Better!

Nike Better World logoCorporate responsibility is not just how a company spends its money, it’s also about how a company makes its money.

By taking responsibility for its actions and changing the way they build products, in addition to the way they function as an organization, Nike has become a leader in positive environmental and societal impact.

It’s not just helping us to work towards becoming better athletes, Nike is inspiring us to work towards a better world.

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