In January 1964, two American visionaires, Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, opened their first sport shoes shop. As former university track runners and coach, they were seeking to innovate in running shoes to give athletes a competitive advantage. In 1971, their first employee Jeff Johnson designed several shoes and started advertising the new brand that he called “Nike”.
Co-founder Bill Bowerman’s philosophy is today’s vision of the company: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*And if you have a body, you are an athlete.) ».
Mark Parker, actual president and CEO of Nike’s company, was once a young designer for Bowerman. He said remembering Bowerman frequently asking the question « Is that the best we can do? ». Therefore, Parker defined Nike’s mission of the company as a sustainability strategy by unleashing innovation. Nike company works like every athlete: always pushing the limits for better, for improvement like there was no finish line.
In his last report, he sets an ultimate long-term goal for the company: « To decouple profitable growth from constrained resources. ». Today, the company wants to see a change from our actual industrial economy to a sustainable economy. It has set goals for specific environmental and social domains. To reach this goal, the company sets a series of short-term goals separated in different domains such as energy and climate, labor, water, waste and community. For example, concerning water, Nike aims to borrow water and use it responsibly. The company targets to improve water efficiency by 15 % per unit in apparel materials dyeing and finishing and footwear manufacturing from 2011 to 2015.
Over the past 15 years, Nike’s new goals have been shaped and defined from changing the company’s approach of simply reacting to criticisms to pursuing sustainability as an integral driver of their long-term growth.
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