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CR Strategy

Changing World: Urgent Challenges

Over the past few years, we've been working at the senior-most levels of our company - board of directors, our CEO and our executive leadership team - to understand the potential implications to our business and examine ways to emerge not just as a survivor, but with a competitive edge. This work helped define three core strategic questions:

  1. What new business concepts could enable NIKE, Inc. to thrive in a sustainable economy?
  2. How do we create a road map for evolving to a future state and solve the challenges preventing us from getting there?
  3. How do we continue to evolve and improve our current model during the transition?

In 2008, NIKE, Inc. became chair of the World Economic Forum's Consumer Industries Working Group on Sustainable Consumption. In this role, our goal has been to galvanize industry collaboration on solutions that will fast track the transition to a sustainable economy. In partnership with The Natural Step, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), Deloitte & Touche and the World Economic Forum, we began working to answer these questions.

We helped lead a CEO-level dialogue about the importance of investing in sustainability-focused innovation. Deloitte & Touche published The Business Case for Sustainability, a report that outlines the real business challenges on the horizon for consumer brands.

As part of this work, we tested the real business impact of our changing world on NIKE, Inc. and explored how our consumer brand could thrive in a sustainable economy. We concluded that we need to continue to refine our existing business model while simultaneously looking at new ways of doing business.

This work underlined two key challenges: that solutions will demand industry-level systemic change, and that the scale and complexity of changes needed demand new approaches to innovation and collaboration.

As we enter 2010 this work continues, with a number of ambitious goals:

  1. Put investing in sustainability as a key innovation/R+D priority on consumer brands' agendas
  2. Fast track innovation through investment and collaboration
  3. Launch the GreenXchange as a platform for enabling the sharing of intellectual property to fast track changes efficiently
  4. Build an advocacy agenda to push for large-scale policies and investments in sustainable innovation as a key enabler of global economic competitiveness