Dealing with greenwash, you almost cannot miss the company NIKE. Being a stakeholder of the Global Reporting Initiative, one could expect them to respect the guidelines of this initiative. The aim of the GRI is to “establish a common framework for enterprise-level reporting on sustainability…” (Studyguide 5.4.1). It includes three aspects of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic issues. The more astonishing is it to find several articles about the violation of human rights by Nike. Having a look on the web, you could find a list of several initiatives against the practices of Nike. On this website, you also find a fact sheet listing some aspects of Nike’s practices.
This makes me think of 2 possible reasons to explain how the stakeholdership in th GRI and the practises of Nike can coexist. The first one is that Nike is “greenwashing”, trying to maintain or even regain an image of a responsibile company while in reality doing the complete opposite. The second argument deals with the liability of these guidelines and the trustfulness of the GRI. The main question to this is how can a company like Nike that pays the minimum wage (not even enough to survive), that punishes their workers physically, that forces overtime, just to name a few of the reproaches, be a member of a society that stands for environmental, SOCIAL and economic sustainability?

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Posted in greenwash
One comment on “Nike
  1. nathalie says:

    I think that the problem with this kind of debate related to sustainable development/international firms, is that we must bare in mind that countries and governemnts keep protecting their business interests. These big companies such as Nike may lobby their own governements not to take actions that promote some humanitarian goals for example. That was the case with shell : they opposed U.N inititiative that urge corporations to take an active role in promoting human rights and reporting abuses they could notice in the country they were establish.

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