How Sustainable is Nike?

Saving the world doesn’t happen in one move—it’s about all of the small things that we do each day. Both consumers and companies need to change production and consumption patterns in a more climate friendly direction.

According to an Ipsos survey across 28 countries, 69% of adults have made changes to their behaviour out of concern for climate change, yet only 28% have made changes to the clothes they buy.

Choosing to invest in sustainable clothing and products can make a material impact on the planet, and brands as influential as Nike are critical to changing consumer behaviour for the better. So, how sustainable is Nike and should you buy its products? Here’s what you need to know.

Nike sustainable shoes


Looking after the planet has never been more important, as we battle to limit the increase in global temperature to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. But Nike is not suddenly jumping on the sustainability bandwagon, it has been on a 25 year journey to transform its business.

Since 2019 with the launch of 'Move to Zero', Nike has clearly set out its sustainability vision, with goals that the brand will aim to reach by 2050. These can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Carbon

Nike aims to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its owned or operated facilities by 70%. The plan is to use 100% renewable electricity and fleet electrification to achieve this goal.

Additionally, the aim for GHG emissions from core suppliers and transportation is to keep them below 2020 levels regardless of business growth. This will be achieved through the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency and alternative fuels.

Additionally, by increasing the use of environmentally preferred materials to 50% of all key materials, the brand will aim to reduce a massive 0.5 million tons of GHG emissions.

  • Waste

Nike has pledged to reduce waste by 10% per unit throughout its manufacturing, distribution, headquarters, and packaging systems. This will be achieved through improved design and operational efficiency.

What’s more, 100% of the waste will be diverted from landfills with at least 80% of this being recycled back into the manufacturing process. Plus, the amount of finished product waste that is refurbished, recycled, or donated will increase ten-fold.

  • Water

Water is a key element when it comes to manufacturing. The brand will aim for a 25% reduction in freshwater usage per kg in textile dyeing and finishing.

Aside from that, Nike plans to launch a series of watershed products to provide water to ecosystems and communities that need it the most. According to Nike’s Sustainability Vision, the brand will restore 13 billion litres of water by the year 2050.

  • Chemistry

Harmful chemicals used in apparel and footwear manufacturing can damage ecosystems. That’s why Nike plans to adopt clean chemistry alternatives for its 10 priority chemistries across the supply chain. Watch this space.