Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns about Nike’s corporate responsibility practices with us. We appreciate the opportunity to share our approach with you.
We see corporate responsibility as a catalyst for growth and innovation. It is an integral part of how we aim to use the power of our brand, the energy and passion of our people, and the scale of our business to create meaningful change.
With the release of our last corporate responsibility report on May 31, 2007, we announced a series of business targets that more deeply integrate corporate responsibility goals into the company’s long-term growth and innovation business strategies. The targets set benchmarks to improve labor conditions in contract factories, create a climate stable company, drive sustainable product design and innovation, and unleash potential by giving youth greater access to the benefits of sport.
Our priority is helping the people who make our products by playing a role in bringing about positive change for workers within our own supply chain, and in the industry overall.
Nike-branded products are made by more than 800,000 workers in almost 700 contract factories in 52 countries around the world, from Indonesia to Canada, from Australia to the United States. When we look at our overall footprint in the world, the needs of those workers in our contract supply chain overshadow any other group.
We are continually evolving our approach – from establishing codes of conduct and establishing an internal team to enforce it, to working with independent organizations to monitor factories and engage with external stakeholders. What we’ve learned, after a decade, is that monitoring alone isn’t enough to solve the problems facing workers in our contract factories and in our industry in general.
Our focus now is getting to the root of recurring problems such as excessive overtime and worker’s right to freedom of association. Our goal is to create lasting change in Nike contract factories and in our industry.
We’re often asked about wages in contract factories and why we can’t pay more or disclose the wages workers are paid. We aggressively monitor compliance with our standard that workers be paid at least the minimum wage required by local law, and that workers are accurately paid the wages owed for the hours worked. In fiscal 2005 and 2006, we secured approximately $1 million in back wages for workers. We believe wages are best set by the market and by local public policy regarding wage minimums. Since we do not directly employ contract factory workers, we do not track wage data – such decisions are up to the factories.
Nike continues to be a leader in transparency and public reporting of supply chain issues and our efforts to improve conditions for workers. We were the first in our industry to publicly disclose our supply chain and regularly communicate with a diverse group of stakeholders on these issues. For further details on our Code of Conduct, overall approach to corporate responsibility and our business targets, we invite you to visit our website, http://www.nikebiz.com/responsibility/.