Nike, Inc. last week joined the global climate conversation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2014 in Davos, Switzerland, to champion the need for innovation and collaboration in the face of rising energy costs and environmental concerns.
The Annual Meeting brings together top business leaders, politicians and visionaries to address some of the most pressing environmental and health issues facing the world. At this year’s gathering, themed “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business,” WEF dedicated a full day to climate-related discussion and took the opportunity to launch its new report “Towards the circular economy: Accelerating the scale-up across global supply chains”.
In response to the report’s release, Nike Inc. VP of Sustainable Innovation Hannah Jones, who participated in WEF panels, shared Nike, Inc.'s vision of a circular economy – one that includes harnessing innovations to design out waste and collaborations to bring about lasting and meaningful systems change.
“While Flyknit and other Nike-led technologies have greatly advanced the integration of sustainability and performance, materials innovation is not a problem we can solve alone. Creating a sustainable palette of materials would be disruptive to the world of making, but it’s also incredibly complicated,” writes Jones in a blog post on the WEF website.
“It is clear that no single company, organization or government has the ability to tackle this innovation challenge on their own. Instead, the innovations required to create the future will require new models of collaboration. We need to catalyze capital, capabilities, science and technology and resources far beyond the boundaries of our own supply chain.”
Jones continues in the blog post to explain Nike, Inc.’s approach to tackling immense systemic challenges, like those in the materials and manufacturing industries, “Nike is harnessing the collective power of unconventional collaborations. Our ability to positively influence the systems in which we operate is critical to our future success.
"We call this systems innovation. By working with other companies, NGOs, government agencies and stakeholders across the system, we can build a shared vision for addressing our toughest sustainability challenges. By tapping into this collective genius, we will all be better positioned to advance our business models and innovate at entirely new levels.”
Participation in the WEF Annual Meeting continues Nike, Inc.’s work to advance the global discussion and catalyze action around environmental issues. Last year Nike, Inc., which employs 600+ designers, launched the MAKING app to help designers and product creators make informed decisions about the environmental impacts of the materials they choose.
MAKING is powered by data from the Nike Materials Sustainability Index (MSI), a database built on more than seven years of materials research and analysis. Nike’s MSI data also forms the basis of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) HIGG Index, an industry-wide tool enabling companies to evaluate material types, products, facilities and processes based on a range of environmental and product design choice.