Footwear manufacturer Nike reduced the emissions of its supply chain by four per cent in 2009 compared to 2008 levels, according to the firm's corporate social responsibility report released yesterday.
Although the firm has been hit hard by the recession, revenue still grew by three per cent in 2009 and 14 per cent in 2008, indicating carbon cuts are not a result of decreased activity.
Nike said its total greenhouse gas footprint stood at 1.53 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2009, which is down from 1.6 million in 2008 and 7.5 million in 1997-98.
But the firm has still not set itself any carbon reduction targets.
It has introduced a programme to monitor and improve the carbon footprint of factories, as well as provide better energy training for employees.
It has also reduced the carbon footprint of its IT through end user education and automated shutdown software.
And a focus on teleconferencing and videoconferencing has reduced the impact of business travel.
The firm also decided last year to stop purchasing carbon offsets, meaning all carbon reductions going forward will be made by Nike itself.
"Our preference is to achieve climate neutrality through a combination of energy efficiency and the purchase of more direct forms of renewable energy, through onsite applications and other means," says the report.
The firm also saw a 15 per cent drop in CO2 emissions from Nike-owned and operated facilities in 2009 compared to 2007, despite a 41 per cent growth in square footage in the facilities, and a six per cent decrease in the absolute CO2 footprint of the 19 factories operated by Nike's five largest contract manufacturers, despite a nine per cent increase in production.
Two thirds of Nike's suppliers are now compliant with its water programme, which aims to have water-intensive production take place where water is abundant and to return all water used to local communities in a clean and drinkable form.
The firm is also developing an energy- and water-efficient factory design for new production facilities.
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