Another action of sustainability that Nike is taking touches on both the environmental & people arena, starting in 2001 Nike has taken the perspective that the water their factories use is being borrowed from the community. For that reason, they have been altering product fabrication methods to use less water while also working to make what’s returned to the community better than historical results for such waste water. Nike has discovered that the way water is handled by their contract factories can have an impact on the people of an area by impacting water scarcity markers.
Water scarcity id the amount of fresh water available in a region to meet population demand. Nike has chosen to be proactive on the matter by being active in inspiring and motivating their contractors by making a “Water Risk Mitigation Guideline” manual. The manual essentially trains the contractors on water usage. It allows better perception of water risk, how to verify if there is a risk and how to reduce such risk so the regions they are in can hopefully be less vulnerable to flood or drought due to factory processes.
(Ref: Sustainability Report FY2016/17) From my understanding, this document is being made publicly available for other companies to use in their processes that involve using water. Depending on how other companies use it, the using the information could mitigate the possibility of government regulations for manufacturers in regions with water problems.
The financial pillar is often viewed as the profit or monetary pillar. Nike is addressing this by running leaner in a more efficient way.
The company is also working with contractors on finding a way to rehome waste where it won’t be a waste, but rather turned into something else, this also reduces costs of waste disposal which helps indirectly increase revenue. In the sustainability section of Nike’s website, there was mention of a goal to be a zero waste company. Being zero waste would mean nothing from Nike’s products would be un-usable, everything could be turned into something else or in the case of water still be useable when it’s returned to the community. Grinding up the sneakers, as noted above, is one example of that. Using water more efficiently is another example. There is a zero water dye process Nike has developed that has had a very positive effect on the bottom line by saving millions of gallons of water, eliminating the need for chemicals & using less power. The less over all resources wasted in product fabrication than the less it will cost to produce an end product which will help with profits.
Overall Nike has definitely improved in not just implementing but rather embracing the three pillars since the sweatshop debacle of the 90’s. By embracing the fact their actions and their contractors actions (on their behalf) can greatly impact the regions where operation occur and this the global community, they are probably having a more positive human impact than most politicians. They are making huge steps in improving the lives of the production line workers in regions with poor human labor records by having an aggressive audit process with a documented resolution procedure when a problem is found. Making their ecological discoveries open to the public aides in all manufacturers doing less harm to the environment which leads to an overall better world. If more companies chose to run their operations similar to Nike then the planet would be a much better place.