Nike goes for greener leather, stops buying Amazon hides

Posted by: Adam Aston on July 22, 2009

How do those new kicks hurt the environment? Well, shoes are often made from leather. And creating the grazing pasture for the cows that provide that leather is the chief reason the Amazon rain forest is being razed. Here’s Greeenpeace’s take on the problem:

Every eight seconds, an acre of Amazon rainforest is destroyed for Brazilian cattle ranching, which is the biggest single driver of deforestation in the world. Forest destruction accounts for almost 20 percent of global emissions, more climate pollution than all the world’s cars, trucks, trains, planes, and ships combined.

Yet the supply chain from cow to slaughter house to tanner to shoe factory is so circuitous it’s near to impossible to know where the leather in a pair of shoes came from, even for a huge manufacturer such as Nike (NKE, BX). Now, the sports giant has pledged to eliminate leather hides sourced from the Amazon region.

Working with Greenpeace, Nike has issued a set of sourcing rules requiring full traceability and transparency from their suppliers by 2010. Nike’s pledge also includes terms to review contracts with suppliers that been found to use slave labor and suppliers that have infringed on Indian land or other protected areas.

More here:

“Slaughtering the Amazon” is available at http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/press-center/reports4/slaughtering-the-amazon

Nike’s statement and policy are available at http://www.nikebiz.com/media/pr/2009/07/22_AmazonLeatherPolicy.html

 

About

BusinessWeek correspondents John Carey and Mark Scott, cover the green scene, keeping on top of the business aspects of energy, the environment and climate change, as well as the technologies, policies, markets and people that are shaping how the earth's resources will be used in the century ahead.

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