Governance and Sustainability at Nike (B)
Two members of Nike's executive team must decide what sustainability targets to propose to Nike's CEO and to the corporate responsibility committee of Nike's board of directors. Set in 2012, the case traces the evolution of Nike's approach to environmental and social concerns from its origins in student protests against labor conditions in the supply chain in the 1990s through the development of a board-level corporate responsibility (CR) committee in 2001 to the creation of the Sustainable Business & Innovation (SB&I) strategy in 2009. In this context, Hannah Jones, Nike's VP of SB&I, and Eric Sprunk, VP of Merchandising & Product, are working to finalize the company's next round of sustainability targets for presentation to the CR committee. When Nike signs on to the Roadmap to Zero, a Greenpeace-inspired initiative to eliminate the discharge of toxic chemicals into the water supply by 2020, the company's target-setting process becomes more complex. Jones and Sprunk must decide whether to recommend that Nike dial back other sustainability goals to meet the zero toxics challenge, modify its commitment to zero toxics, or find another solution.