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Nike Director Procurement, Marketing & Events, Anais Alexandre will tell an audeince at ProcureCon Marketing EU 2022 about the journey Nike is on to dedicate a significant portion of its marketing to its Move to Zero initiative.
As the global effects of manmade climate change are felt across the planet through ever more severe weather and geological events, the need for urgent action is becoming harder and harder to deny – even for those with vested interests in doing so.
Many people were disappointed with the heavily compromised outcomes of the widely publicised COP26 summit held in Cornwall, UK in 2021 and saw it as a sign world leaders are not willing to step up and take the kind of severe action necessary to avert a full-blown climate disaster.
However, there is opportunity for brands to use their platforms to drive home climate-related messaging. With access to such a wide range of channels, marketing procurement teams have the skills and knowledge to leverage the power of advertising to, not only demonstrate how their organisation is combatting climate change but inspire others to follow suit.
One brand which is no stranger to taking a stance on politically charged issues is top global sportswear brand, Nike.
It was Nike which came out in support of activist sporting legend, Colin Kaepernick and his working combatting racial inequality and other issues revolving around social justice in the game of American football and in society at large – support which saw some of the United States’ less evenly balanced citizens publicly burning their already bought and paid for Nike shoes in protest.
It’s therefore no surprise to see that the sporting giant is also using its considerable platform and influence to drive messages of action on climate change and attempting to promote its own green credentials as part of the bargain.
“When I think about the global climate crisis and the role of a company like Nike, I think about our mission and values,” said Nike Chief Sustainability Officer, Noel Kinder. “I think about who we are, who we serve, and the future we want to see. For over thirty years, we’ve challenged ourselves to lead in sustainability. In the early days, passionate employees started grassroots efforts to recycle old sneakers into basketball courts. Today, more than 75% of all Nike shoes and apparel contain some recycled material, and we’re exploring new business models to extend the life of our products.”
One fantastic example of the way Nike is willing to put its money where its mouth is, came in the early 2000s when it discovered a harmful greenhouse gas was one of the main components in its flagship sport shoe product, Nike Air. Nike switch components and now counts Nike Air among its most sustainable products.
However, with the clothing industry being one of the planet’s greatest contributors to carbon emissions, Nike understands it still has plenty of work to do to meet the goal of keeping global warming below 1.5°C, which requires the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut by half this decade, and to reach net-zero by 2050.
This has driven Nike to dedicate a significant portion of its marketing to its Move to Zero initiative.
Move to Zero leverages the power of Nike’s considerable marketing channels to track the company’s journey towards a zero carbon and zero waste future and invites fans of the brand to follow in its endeavour and discover methods of reducing their own environmental impact as well.
This journey includes offering customers a way to help reduce waste by cleaning and donating or recycling worn athletic shoes and apparel, and even sourcing a mix of eligible returns and open box footwear to create opportunities for them to purchase gently used shoes at a discounted price.
The Move to Zero portal also has an entire section dedicated to content which gives visitors advice on how to reduce their carbon footprint, with guides on everything from how to make biomaterials in their own kitchen, to cleaning running shoes properly to extend their life and further reduce waste.
“To drive real change, our climate goals can’t just be words on a page,” concluded Kinder. “They have to move us into action. They have to shift how we think, plan, operate, and adapt. Most of all, they have to hold us accountable. That’s why we’re sharing our next steps here, and it’s why we’ll continue sharing our journey as we go. Every company has a footprint. Our goal is, and always will be, that Nike’s footprint helps to shape a better world.”
Climate change is everyone’s problem – even those who continue to deny it in the face of overwhelming evidence – and we all have a responsibility to do our bit to stem the tide in our corner of the world.
However, the greatest change must come from those which have the greatest impact which is why its encouraging to see big brands such as Nike taking the subject seriously and leveraging their marketing channels in such a positive way.
You can hear Nike Director Procurement, Marketing & Events, Anais Alexandre speak at ProcureCon Marketing EU 2022, being held in June at County Hall, London. Download the agenda today for more information and insights.