Nike Scores 1-0 Over Adidas with toxic pollution clean-up commitment

Press release - 18 August, 2011
Barcelona/Beijing 18th August 2011 - The world's largest sportswear brand, Nike, has today committed to the elimination of releases of all hazardous chemicals across its entire supply chain and the entire life-cycle of its products by 2020 (1), following a Greenpeace challenge to 'Detox'.

Nike's promise to remove persistent, bioaccumulative and hormone disrupting substances from its supply chain comes five weeks after a Greenpeace report, "Dirty Laundry" (2), revealed commercial links between major clothing brands (3), including Nike, Puma (4) and Adidas, and suppliers responsible for releasing toxic pollution into Chinese rivers.

During Wednesday's night's FC Barcelona versus Real Madrid football match in Barcelona, Nike's main rival Adidas received a public reprimand over its slowness to 'Detox'. Greenpeace activists and local artists projected messages, including "water pollution is not fair play" for the 100,000 fans at the Camp Nou stadium, before kick-off and after the final whistle (5), which saw FC Barcelona sponsored by Nike win 3-2 over Real Madrid, sponsored by Adidas.

"Not only has Nike triumphed over Adidas' team in Barcelona, it's giving Adidas a good thrashing in the Greenpeace 'Detox' challenge, by committing to cut hazardous chemicals discharges from its global supply chain", said Martin Hojsik, Coordinator of the Toxic Water campaign at Greenpeace International. "But losers shouldn't throw in the towel - Adidas must kick-off its comeback by not only committing to zero discharge but by also showing initiative and developing a new culture of transparency throughout the clothing industry about the hazardous chemicals currently released during manufacture".

As well as its commitment to zero hazardous discharges by 2020, Nike has agreed to address the issue of the "right to know" by ensuring full transparency about the chemicals being released from its suppliers' factories, and has also promised to use its influence, knowledge and experience to bring about widespread elimination of hazardous chemicals from the clothing industry. Nike has said that it will publish its implementation plan within eight weeks.

"By committing to clean up its dirty laundry, Nike is showing real winning form, but Greenpeace will need to take a close look at its implementation plan before we know whether Nike has the makings of a true champion and if it is really serious about eliminating hazardous chemicals from its supply chain", continued Hojsik.

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace is campaigning to stop industrial pollution of our water with hazardous, persistent and hormone-disrupting chemicals by demanding that companies and governments take action to "Detox" our future.


Martin Hojsik, Toxic Water Campaign Coordinator, Greenpeace International, (m) +421 905 313 395

Yifang Li, Greenpeace East Asia Toxic Campaigner, (m) +86 13910627154

Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline +31 (0) 20 7182470

For images: Greenpeace Picture Desk, Alex Yallop, (m) +31 (0) 62494 1965,

For video: Lucy Campbell-Jackson (m) +31 634738790

Notes to editor:

(1) Nike's has committed to support "the goal of systemic change to achieve zero discharge of hazardous chemicals associated with supply chains and the lifecycles of products within one generation or less." It also committed to accelerate the phasing out of the highest priority hazardous chemicals." Further listed in the company's statement, footnote (5), "Hazardous chemicals are identified through the evaluation of intrinsic hazards including persistence, bioaccumulation and toxic (PBT), very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB), carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic for reproduction (CMR), and endocrine disruptors (ED), or other properties of equivalent concern." To read Nike's statement, please visit:
(2) A year-long Greenpeace investigation into toxic water pollution in China found links between a number of major clothing companies, including Adidas and Nike, and suppliers in China who were found to be discharging persistent and bioaccumulative hormone disruptors into Chinese rivers. The findings from the research provide a snapshot of the kind of toxic chemicals that are being released by the textile industry into waterways all over the world, and are indicative of a much wider problem that is having serious and far-reaching consequences for people and wildlife. To read the executive summary or full "Dirty Laundry" report visit:
(3) Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Bauer Hockey, Calvin Klein, Converse, Cortefiel, H&M, Lacoste, Li Ning, Meters/bonwe, Nike, Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (PVH Corp), Puma and Youngor.
(4) Puma committed to the elimination of hazardous chemicals on July 26th
(5) The FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid game is the second leg of the Supercopa in Spain - the teams are respectively sponsored by Nike and Adidas.