The reduction/elimination of toxic chemicals in products and processes is part of NIKE, Inc.’s long term sustainability goals. We are asking every supplier to better understand their chemical impact and to search for less toxic ways to manufacture. The Nike Considered Chemistry Team encourages all suppliers to use the Principles of Green Chemistry to inspire innovation. Designing and producing materials around these principles can be used at any stage in the supply chain to improve sustainability as well as protect the consumer, employee, and the community/environment.
NIKE, Inc. Green Chemistry Program
The NIKE, Inc. Green Chemistry Program is designed to drive innovations in product chemistry, particularly those around several of the Green Chemistry Principles. The effort to reduce toxins uses a systematic, risk based approach to assess toxic chemicals in product or processes. With protection of the consumer, employee and the community/environment as the goal, the program relies on evaluation of both hazard and exposure potential. Assessing hazard and exposure potential allows chemicals with the greatest risk (risk = hazard x exposure) to be prioritized for elimination, reformulation, or for control via the NIKE, Inc. RSL.
Chemical Hazard Criteria:
The approach to chemical hazard is based upon the Green Screen for Safer Chemicals (version 1.0) benchmarking tool which uses the following toxicology endpoints to assess hazard:
Genetic Toxicity/ Mutagenicity
Reproductive/ developmental toxicity
Irritation of skin
Skin or respiratory sensitization
Immune System Effects
Specific target organ toxicity following repeated exposures
Chemical interactions/reactions (e.g. explosive, flammable)
Aquatic toxicity — Acute
Aquatic toxicity — Chronic
Exposure evaluation allows chemicals to be prioritized. Higher hazard chemicals with higher exposure potential are targets for alternatives assessment & reduction/elimination.
The assessment of exposure is based upon realistic scenarios for the consumer, worker, and the environment. The consumer exposure scenario is most often based on an apparel model since it has the greatest skin coverage and is usually more conservative than a footwear or equipment model.
Exposure scenarios for the employee and environment are less standardized and are developed as needed. Exposure scenarios vary for workers and the environment due to differences in how a chemical is used in production and the chemicalâ€™s physical properties (boiling point, solubility, etc.).
To participate in the NIKE, Inc. Green Chemistry Program, we are asking that suppliers voluntarily:
- Commit to self evaluate the use of toxic chemicals in their facility*
- Validate their chemical greening efforts for materials or
* It is important for the appropriate senior level management and/or chemical management teams to be involved in discussions regarding this commitment