Nike leaps ahead of Adidas and Li Ning in commitment to end toxic discharge

Press release - 2011-08-19
Beijing – The world's largest sportswear brand, Nike, has today committed to eliminate all hazardous chemicals across its entire supply chain by 2020 following a Greenpeace challenge to 'Detox'.

Nike's promise to remove hazardous chemicals from its supply chain comes five weeks after a Greenpeace report, "Dirty Laundry", revealed commercial links between major clothing brands – including Nike, Puma, Adidas, Li Ning – and Chinese suppliers discharging a cocktail of persistent, bio-accumulative and hormone-disrupting chemicals into the Yangtze and Pearl River deltas.

"Nike is giving rivals Adidas and Li Ning a good thrashing in the Greenpeace 'Detox' challenge by committing to cut hazardous chemicals discharges from its global supply chain", said Li Yifang, Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace East Asia. "Now we urge Adidas and Li Ning to get back in the game and fulfill their responsibility to protect China's rivers from toxic chemicals."

Greenpeace at the FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid football match in Barcelona.

Following Nike's announcement, Greenpeace activists in Spain and Hong Kong engaged in actions challenging Adidas and Li Ning to detox. In Spain, during Wednesday night's FC Barcelona versus Real Madrid football match in Barcelona, Greenpeace activists publicly reprimanded Adidas by projecting the message "water pollution is not fair play" for the 100,000 fans at the Camp Nou stadium. The Real Madrid team is sponsored by Adidas.

In addition to its commitment to zero hazardous discharges by 2020, Nike has agreed to address the issue of the "right to know" by ensuring full transparency about the chemicals being released from its suppliers' factories. It has also promised to use its influence, knowledge and experience to bring about widespread elimination of hazardous chemicals from the clothing industry. Nike has said that it will publish a detailed implementation plan within eight weeks.

"Nike's announcement is especially welcome in China, which bears one of the largest environment burdens as the world's factory floor," concluded Li. "While we congratulate Nike for its commitment, this is just the start of a long race. Now, they must come up with an ambitious implementation plan that holds the mark of a true champion and shows how serious the company is about eliminating hazardous chemicals from its supply chain".

Media Contacts:

Simon Pollock, International Communications Officer

+86 139 1151 5405

Li Yifang, Toxics Campaigner

+86 10 6554 6931 *169