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 hazardous chemicals uses a systematic, risk-based approach to assess chemicals in product or processes, as outlined in Figure 9. With the goal of protecting consumers, employees, communities and the environment, the program relies on the 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 by 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 benchmarking tool which uses the following toxicology endpoints to assess hazard:
Exposure evaluation allows chemicals to be prioritized. Higher hazard chemicals with higher exposure potential are targets for alternatives assessment and reduction/elimination. The assessment of exposure is based upon realistic scenarios for consumers, workers 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 employees and the 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 chemical’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 and follow the guidance of the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL).
- Commit to Industry best practices in chemicals management.
- Validate their chemical greening efforts for materials or processes
To engage with Nike, Inc on these initiatives, please refer to the Green Chemistry, Manufacturing Chemistry and Better Chemistry Resources sections of the RSL, then review and sign the commitment forms* located at the end of the document.
*It is important that senior level management is engaged in signing these commitments.