By  on October 29, 2008

NEW YORK — Nike Inc. unveiled an environmental agenda on Tuesday that is intended to cut waste and also help boost the bottom line.

The Nike Considered Design initiative’s goal is to have all apparel, footwear and sports equipment meet environmentally friendly goals: for footwear, by 2011, apparel, 2015 and equipment, 2020. The aim is to cut waste in Nike’s footwear supply chain by 17 percent and raise the use of environmentally preferred materials by 20 percent.

Ultimately, the Beaverton, Ore.-based active giant wants to recycle all used products.

“I’m not a scientist — I’m a ceo, a pragmatist,” Mark Parker, president and chief executive officer, told reporters at 7 World Trade Center. “I see potential for us to be a game changer…. This is good for our shareholders, our consumers and ultimately, our planet.”

By streamlining its supply chain, becoming less reliant on oil, reusing materials and maximizing innovation, Nike profits stand to benefit, Parker said, adding that the concept behind Considered Design is to “maximize performance and minimize the impact on our earth.”

For spring, Nike Considered Design products will be featured in the company’s six key categories: basketball, running, soccer, women’s training, men’s training and sportswear, as well as tennis and All Condition Gear. Although Nike has made niche Considered Design products for years, this is the first time the concept is broadening across all product categories.

To implement the program, Nike created a Considered Design Index that rates each product on its materials, waste (pattern efficiency), solvents and innovation.

“We wanted sustainability to be a source of innovation,” said Considered Design general manager Lorrie Vogel.

The company is focusing on reducing its footprint in several areas:

• Waste: Ten years ago, for every Nike shoe made, there was enough waste to create another shoe, but that has been reduced 50 percent and the company reuses two-thirds of the remaining waste, Vogel said. For packaging, the goal is to reduce waste 30 percent by 2010, and efforts so far will save Nike $6 million.

• Energy: More than half of Nike’s energy use is embedded in materials, Vogel said. Utilizing recycled materials stands to lower energy usage.

• Toxins: The company is shifting from solvent-based adhesives to water-based adhesives whenever possible.

• Water: Dying materials is the largest use of water in the supply chain, and Nike is working on alternatives.

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