“Nike’s inclusion on the list signifies its leadership in corporate responsibility and clearly sets it apart as one the world’s leading companies in sustainability reporting,” said John Elkington, founder and chief entrepreneur at SustainAbility, the think tank and strategy consultancy that operates Global Reporters and produced the rankings in its “Tomorrow’s Value” report. “Similar to the other top reporters, Nike is embracing the idea that sustainability and reporting are about far more than mitigating risk and appeasing stakeholders, they are the very basis for entrepreneurship inside their company that will lead to strategic innovations and the building of new markets yet to come.”
Global Reporters is the flagship SustainAbility research program and report that surveys and ranks leading practice in corporate sustainability reporting. The report is published in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Standard and Poor’s. The report ranks the world’s leaders in corporate sustainability reporting, transparency and disclosure. Nike’s ranking is based on its 2004 report.
“We believe transparency is central to responsible business strategy and that reporting is key to delivering transparency,” said Hannah Jones, vice president of corporate responsibility for Nike. “It is an honor for us to be ranked among the world’s leading companies for sustainability reporting. We see reporting as the pathway for all companies that are serious about their corporate responsibility efforts. We aim to continue finding innovative ways to detail our targets, report on our success against them and articulate our strategy for embedding corporate responsibility throughout our business operations as a source of inspiration and innovation for employees, consumers and stakeholders alike.”
Nike’s 2004 report, released in April 2005, highlighted the Nike brand’s CR priorities, programs, progress and challenges relating to workers in contract factories; employees and diversity; the environment; and community investment during the period covering primarily Nike’s 2004 fiscal year (FY04), which began June 1, 2003 and ended May 31, 2004. In addition, the company became the first in its industry to voluntarily disclose the names and locations of active contract factories making its products. For advice in preparing the report, Nike invited experts from the trade union, NGO, academic, investor and business communities, acting in their capacities as individuals, to participate in a Report Review Committee (RRC). The committee provided feedback that helped establish the scope, coverage and focus for the company’s report and in addition provided unedited comments on the content of the report and the reporting process that are included in the report.
The 2004 report earned Nike widespread praise for setting a new level of transparency in the industry, including the Ceres-ACCA North American Award for Sustainability Reporting. Fortune magazine named the company to its annual “Best Companies to Work For” list, noting its compliance efforts and response to overseas manufacturing conditions. The socially responsible investment community also responded to Nike’s sustainability reporting and transparency efforts, with the company earning placement on the Calvert Social Index, Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, KLD’s Broad Market and Large Cap Social Indices, and FTSE4Good Index Series.