Nike is pledging zero waste to erase its carbon footprint

Nike’s new European distribution center in Ham, Belgium is powered by 100% renewable energy. All 1.5 million square feet of the new facility, known as the Court, are powered by locally generated wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass sources. This is part of Nike’s sustainability pledge to power all owned-and-operated facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2025, and another huge step towards Nike’s pledge for zero carbon and zero waste. 

The Court’s location is significantly factored into the environmental equation. It lies in the middle of an infrastructure of railways and canals, eliminating the need for trucks to bring inbound and outbound shipments, and consequently reducing the carbon emissions that come with them. This supports Nike in line with the Paris Agreement of 2015, aiming to reduce carbon emissions across its global supply chain by 30% by 2030.  

Going one step further, Nike’s facilities are operating production in conjunction with the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Foundation (ZDHC), committed to reaching its goal of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in its supply chain by 2020. 

The Court’s facility itself is committed to managing waste among its products, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of Responsible Production and Consumption. The Court’s walkways have been engineered from reclaimed footwear material, and over 95% of on-site waste is recycled. 

Upcycling waste materials has long since been a part of Nike’s waste-free initiative, and follows the UN’s SDG for Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure. Already, Nike diverts 99% of footwear manufacturing waste from landfills, and annually redirects over 1 billion plastic bottles from landfills to be recycled into yarn for new jerseys and uppers for Flyknit shoes. The Reuse-A-Shoe and Nike Grind programs also convert materials into new products, playgrounds, running tracks and courts, bringing Nike one step closer to zero waste.