Nike has some aggressive sustainability targets. Nike CEO Mark Parke believes that corporate responsibility is no longer a staff function at Nike. It’s a design function, a sourcing function, a consumer experience function, part of how we operate.

Lorrie Vogel is the general manager of Nike Considered, Nike’s in-house sustainability think tank says that the long-term vision for Considered is to design products that are fully closed loop: produced using the fewest possible materials, designed for easy disassembly while allowing them to be recycled into new product or safely returned to nature at the end of their life. By 2011, 100 percent of footwear will meet baseline Considered standards, apparel by 2015 and equipment by 2020 – creating better performing products while minimizing environmental impact by reducing waste, using environmentally preferred materials and eliminate toxins.

Wikipedia says that the “Nike Considered line utilizes materials found primarily within 200 miles (320 km) of the Nike factory which reduces the energy used for transportation, diminishing the resulting climate change impact. The manufacturing process reduces solvent use by more than 80% compared with Nike’s typical products. The leather comes from a tannery that recycles wastewater to ensure toxins are kept out of the environment, and it is colored using vegetable-based dyes. Hemp and polyester are used to make the shoe’s woven upper and shoelaces. The mid-sole is cut to lock into the outer sole, reducing the need for toxic adhesives. The shoe’s outer sole includes rubber made from recycled factory rubber waste. Considered is part of a larger effort Nike has been undertaking for several years to reduce waste, eliminate toxic substances, and otherwise lessen the environmental impact of the world’s largest athletic shoe manufacturer. The company has a publicly stated goal to “Minimize or eliminate all substances known to be harmful to the health of biological or ecological systems.”

You can read a recent interview with Lorrie on CleanTechnica’s blog and I’ve sourced an excellent MIT case study for you on how Nike is becoming more greendownload an MIT case study, alternatively contact me and I will send you the report

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