Greenpeace supporters can move Nike and Adidas: They have move other big companies

Page - July 12, 2011
Over the past years, Greenpeace subscribers and supporters worldwide have been changing the face of earth-destructive industries by challenging their leading brands.

Supporters have:

  • helped reduce toxic chemicals in the computer industry with the successful Green My Apple campaign
  • convinced Coca Cola to remove climate-killing chemicals from their refrigerators
  • stopped a major cause of Amazon forest destruction by challenging the soy purchasing policies of McDonald’s and other fast-food brands
  • battled forest destruction by getting Unilever and Nestle to drop contracts with palm oil suppliers sourcing from deforestation through pressure on their Dove and Kit-Kat brands
  • convinced Lego to stop using packaging from the habitat of the sumatran tiger. Barbie, Facebook, and Volkswagen are all feeling the heat of current corporate campaigns to end deforestation and stop climate change.

These successes mean people have the power to change Nike and Adidas, and with them, an entire industry.

Clean water is not only a basic human right; it is the world’s most threatened essential resource. Greenpeace has asked governments to commit to zero discharge of hazardous chemicals within a generation. But governments are slow. The real players in changing industry are the global brands and corporate decision-makers who set policies about what they buy and where they buy it.

It’s time to Detox our world. The hazardous chemicals being released from facilities in China are just the tip of a toxic iceberg. Greenpeace investigations give just a snapshot of the kind of toxic chemicals being released by the textile industry into waterways all over the world every day.

Case studies in our Hidden Consequences report showed how Switzerland, the U.S., Slovakia, and the Netherlands are still paying for the mistakes of washing toxic chemicals down the drain during their years of rapid industrialization.

Decades of effort have yet to entirely clean up PCBs from the Hudson river, and Dutch deltas are still contaminated with hazardous chemicals from the World War II era. Those mistakes do not need to be made again in China and other parts of the world: safe alternatives exist for many of these chemicals.

Yet, while concentrations of some of the chemicals we found have been falling in the US, they’ve been increasing in China.  Developing and rapidly industrialising countries produce nearly 75 per cent of the world's clothing exports. China has been the world’s leading exporter of textiles and clothing since 1995.