Nike: Innovation through partnerships and redesign throughout the life cycle

Casestudy Nike

Six mini-case studies cosponsored by IEHN offer examples of innovation and efficency that save money, eliminate chemical hazard and toxicity, differentiate products and services, increase profits and revenues, and enhance brands.

“Nike Air,®” “Nike Shox,®” and “Nike®+iPod®” are iconic reminders that the athletic apparel industry is a hotbed of innovation. Nike in particular is known for its innovative culture. From the cofounder on down, the Nike staff has embarked on a journey toward corporate sustainability, the long-term goals of which (by 2020) include zero waste, zero toxics, and 100% recovered product. It was understood that the only way that effort would succeed was if the $15 billion (FY06) company supported and extended its successful growth and its market share in primary markets (for example, its 40% market share in athletic shoes), while improving its cost position relative to competitors and extending the Nike brand worldwide. Not surprisingly, there were many opportunities for sustainability practices and strategies to serve Nike’s broad business interests.

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