NIKE, Inc. is committed to high standards of consumer and environmental safety for all of our products. Nike’s Restricted Substance List (RSL), established in 2001, is a list of chemicals banned or restricted in our products. We update and review the list as new alternatives become available, new regulations are passed and Nike’s corporate commitments expand. Our RSL chemical standards meet or exceed regulatory and legislative requirements from around the world and include substances that we have voluntarily restricted from products. Our suppliers must comply with these restrictions; any material that fails its RSL test is considered defective and prevented from entering production.
In addition, Nike works with the industry to address human and environmental exposure further up the value chain, including through the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Foundation (ZDHC), which has developed a Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) for facilities that process textile materials. NIKE, Inc. has adopted the ZDHC’s MSRL in its supply chain and provides information and training to vendors and suppliers about sourcing, use and discharge of chemicals.
Nike has come a long way since it was founded in 1972 on a handshake between an athlete (Phil Knight) and a track coach (Bill Bowerman). Since the early years we have applied many learnings in developing and operating a complex global supply chain. And we’re proud of the important role we can play in helping create an environment of collaboration and transparency. We now harness the power of innovation to create opportunities and lead by example in setting sustainability and social goals. While we’ve made significant progress and continue to push ourselves and our industry to do better, we know that some questions still arise about how we work.
As a global company, our impact is greater than just what happens inside our doors. The majority of Nike’s environmental impact – before products get to the consumer – occurs in the supply chain. The most significant impacts are associated with the materials used in our products – we know that about 60% of the environmental impact in a pair of Nike shoes is in the materials used to make it. To address this, we are focused on our reduction targets in carbon and water – specifically in dyeing and finishing of fabric for apparel and footwear. We also continue to pioneer new ways to manufacture our products and seek materials innovations that enable us to use only what is needed to create the lightest, best-performing products for athletes.