Nike Scores 1-0 Over Adidas with toxic pollution clean-up commitment

Barcelona/Beijing 18th August 2011 – The world’s largest sportswear brand, Nike, has committed to the elimination of releases of all hazardous chemicals into Chinese rivers across its entire supply chain and life-cycle of its products by 2020, following a Greenpeace challenge to ‘Detox’.

Nike’s promise to remove persistent, bio-accumulative and hormone disrupting substances from its supply chain comes five weeks after a Greenpeace report, “Dirty Laundry”, revealed commercial links between major clothing brands, including Nike, Puma and Adidas, and suppliers responsible for releasing toxic pollution into Chinese rivers.

Pictures courtesy of Greenpeace

During Wednesday’s night’s FC Barcelona versus Real Madrid football match in Barcelona, Nike’s main rival Adidas received a public reprimand over its slowness to ‘Detox’. Greenpeace activists and local artists projected messages, including “water pollution is not fair play” for the 100,000 fans at the Camp Nou stadium, before kick-off and after the final whistle, which saw FC Barcelona sponsored by Nike win 3-2 over Real Madrid, sponsored by Adidas.

Greenpeace volunteers surprise shoppers by performing a striptease outside the Adidas store in central Beijing. The same activity was carried out on the same day by more than 600 people outside Adidas and Nike stores in 29 cities in 10 countries, setting the record for the world

“Not only has Nike triumphed over Adidas’ team in Barcelona, it’s giving Adidas a good thrashing in the Greenpeace ‘Detox’ challenge, by committing to cut hazardous chemicals discharges from its global supply chain”, said Martin Hojsik, Coordinator of the Toxic Water campaign at Greenpeace International. “But the losers shouldn’t throw in the towel – Adidas must kick-off its comeback by not only committing to zero discharge but also by showing initiative and  developing a new culture of transparency throughout the clothing industry about the hazardous chemicals currently released during manufacture”.

As well as its commitment to zero hazardous discharges by 2020, Nike has agreed to address the issue of the “right to know” by ensuring full transparency about the chemicals being released from its suppliers’ factories, and has also promised to use its influence, knowledge and experience to bring about widespread elimination of hazardous chemicals from the clothing industry. Nike has said that it will publish its implementation plan within eight weeks.

“By committing to clean up its dirty laundry, Nike is showing real winning form, but Greenpeace will need to take a close look at its implementation plan before we know whether Nike has the makings of a true champion and if it is really serious about eliminating hazardous chemicals from its supply chain”, continued Hojsik.

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace is campaigning to stop industrial pollution of our water with hazardous, persistent and hormone-disrupting chemicals by demanding that companies and governments take action to “Detox” our future.

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