Social Impacts of the Nike Sweatshirt: Distribution/Transportation

Corrie King, # 11

Nike is committed to lessening its carbon footprint during distribution and transportation of their products. In order to accomplish this, the company has tried to become more sustainable and innovative with their practices. Specifically, Nike hopes to reduce carbon footprint by 20 % for footwear, but there is not any information for other products such as the sweatshirt.  With many of the suppliers in countries such as Indonesia and most of the consumers in the United States, the carbon footprint is still quite large and will take strategic planning to reduce.

As a company who ships millions of sweatshirts all over the world, the company could potentially fill up landfills with non-renewable resources and waste. While there is information about the Nike shoe box being made from recycled material, there is little information about the actual packaging that other products such as sweatshirts create and whether or not they are made of recyclable materials.

A positive change that was implemented in 2012 was the use of new design software that monitors the supply chain and transportation.  This technology allows the company to create the most efficient transportation routes of the product. Additionally, the company uses a more sustainable freight structure by using a mix of alternative energy fuels, according to The Guardian. For example, according to Nike’s website, the “U.S. group realized more than $8.2 million in savings through better container utilization, eliminating unnecessary trips and air freight reduction” (

In 2012, the company stated that “We don’t buy or own our own trucks and transport, but we need to do the right things. Our key objective is not to ship empty volumes. We don’t want to ship more than what is necessary.” This new practice called “near shoring” is simple; move production closer to where the suppliers are.

Nike has chosen companies such as Agility, a logistics company in Indonesia, to partner with them. “Agility supports strong emphasis on recycling cartons and lowering environmental impact by reusing all imported cartons for local delivery. This program is now being extended to include collection and subsequent reuse of cartons from stores. Agility also handles reverse logistics for Nike. Any defective or recalled goods are collected by Agility and inspected as required.”

While the company still has a long way off from having a no carbon footprint, they are in the right direction. “We need to work with people who are actively implementing clean cargo,” said Peter Best, Nike’s EMEA transportation and customs director. Now the pressure is on the cargo carriers of the products to become more sustainable. Because the demand in higher for more sustainable freight options, this hopefully will become a reality in the near future.

Social Impacts of the Nike Sweatshirt: Distribution/Transportation

One thought on “Social Impacts of the Nike Sweatshirt: Distribution/Transportation

  1. Love that Nike is looking at carbon footprints in their distribution. More likely to look at Nike to purchase after seeing these articles.

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