Just Do It, Sustainably: Nike Gets Greener with Sustainable Venture Capital Initiative

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Just Do It, Sustainably: Nike Gets Greener with Sustainable Venture Capital Initiative

"It took us a while, but we finally figured out that we could apply these two core competencies -- design and innovation -- to bring about environmental, labor and social change." -- Mark Palmer, President and CEO, Nike, Inc.[1]
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Why #Nike can just do #sustainability better than just about anybody else: http://bit.ly/z9JKAM Venture Capital. @Justmeans #CSR
Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 9:00am

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Nike Inc., the world's largest sports and fitness company, has announced the creation of a new strategic initiative called Sustainable Business & Innovation (SB&I), to "better enable Nike to transition to sustainable business models."

The SB&I model is an evolution of the company's corporate social responsibility function, and employs 130 people who "work closely with dedicated sustainability specialists who are integrated into other parts of the organization, such as retail, logistics and information technology."[2] The company, headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, employs more than 33,000 people around the world and revenues of USD 19.2 billion.[3]

INNOVATE, INTEGRATE AND MOBILIZE

SB&I has a three-part strategy: deliver innovative enterprise-level sustainability solutions, integrate sustainability into Nike's business model and partner with stakeholders (employees, consumers, government, civil society, industry) to scale solutions.

"Ten years ago, few companies had a corporate responsibility team," said Nike president and CEO Mark Palmer, in the foreword to Nike's FY07-09 Corporate Responsibility Report. "Today, we're evolving beyond the words corporate responsibility to a 'sustainable business and innovation team.' We see sustainability, both social and environmental, as a powerful path to innovation, and crucial to our growth strategies."[4] Bloomberg Businessweek reported that the SB&I initiative "will primarily make equity investments in young companies focused on alternative energies" and also "seek out companies that promote healthy lifestyles."[5]

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Reynard is a Justmeans staff writer for Sustainable Finance and Corporate Social Responsibility. A former media executive with 15 years experience in the private and non-profit sectors, Reynard is the co-founder of MomenTech, a New York-based experimental production studio that explores transnational progressivism, neo-nomadism, post-humanism and futurism. He is also author of the blog 13.7 Billion Years, covering cosmology, biodiversity, animal welfare, conservation and ethical consumption. He is currently developing the Underground Desert Living Unit (UDLU), a sustainable single-family dwelling envisioned as a potential adaptation response to the future loss of human habitat due to the effects of anthropogenic climate change. Reynard is also a contributing author of "Biomes and Ecosystems," a comprehensive reference encyclopedia of the Earth's key biological and geographic classifications, to be published by Salem Press in 2013.

Keywords: Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | China | Corporate Social Responsibility | Sustainability | environment | hazardous waste | nike | social enterprise | supply chain | sustainable development | toxic chemicals

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