Nike Supply Chain to Use Bluesign Sustainability Tools

by | Mar 20, 2013

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Nike has partnered with Bluesign Technologies in an effort to use more sustainable materials and chemistries in its products.

The partnership makes available Bluesign’s assessments tools and data to Nike’s materials suppliers.

Previously, to access these tools and data, a brand would have to take its supply chain through individual factory assessments. For an out-sourced global supply chain of Nike’s size, this would take a significant number of years and investment, the companies say.

According to the agreement, Bluesign Technologies will provide Nike’s supply chain with access to two of its tools: Bluesign Bluefinder and the Bluesign Blueguide. The tools will be rolled out across Nike’s global supply chain, which spans nearly 50 countries and more than 800 contracted factories.

With Bluefinder, a supplier can access pre-screened and more sustainable textile preparations including dye systems, detergents and other process chemicals used in the manufacturing process. The tool helps suppliers manage restricted substances and increase water and energy efficiency, Bluesign says.

The Blueguide gives Nike access to more than 30,000 materials produced using chemicals from the Bluefinder at facilities that have undergone rigorous assessment.

Nike, which introduced a Restricted Substances List in 2001, says it’s pursuing a sustainable materials strategy that encourages textile manufacturers and chemical suppliers to pursue sustainable chemistry while also working to eliminate hazardous substances through its internal processes and policies. To this end, the company has taken several steps to make its supply chain more sustainable.

Last October, Nike and supply chain software designer Llamasoft partnered to make international supply chains more environmentally friendly and efficient. Nike, which has a minority investment in the company, said it would use Llamasoft’s software platform to make its supply chain more efficient and reduce the associated carbon footprint.

In July 2012, Nike and other members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition including Walmart and Levi’s launched an index for measuring the environmental impact of apparel products across the supply chain.

A month earlier Nike partnered with Random Hacks of Kindness in the Open Challenge for Sustainable Materials, an initiative that asks apparel designers and developers to use sustainable materials listed on the Nike Sustainable Materials Index.

In 2011, the company committed to zero discharge of hazardous chemicals throughout its supply chain by 2020, after pressure from Greenpeace.



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