BEAVERTON, OR: Nike's corporate responsibility program took a major leap forward this month when the company released a lengthy report disclosing the names and locations of the hundreds of factories worldwide that produce its products. It was the first su
Nike has made a concerted effort for years to publicly distance itself from activists who have portrayed the company as a "sweatshop" operator. The disclosure of its supply chain is simply another step in the direction of accountability, said Nike corporate communications director Lee Weinstein.
"For a company of our size and visibility, this is something stakeholders and others really expect of us," he said. "Some people were even taken aback by how transparent we were."
The company hasn't released a CSR report since 2002's Nike v. Kasky lawsuit, which raised questions about the line between advertising and free speech. But changes in the political environment since then spurred Nike to start preparing the report last June, Weinstein said.
Nike brought in a group of outside stakeholders, including trade unions, academics, investors, and critics of the company, to advise on the report's preparation. The final report includes a critique from that group that is unedited, according to Nike.
Six news outlets, including the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Oregonian, were provided the report in advance of the April 13 release date. Nike briefed staff and corporate partners on the report, and posted the final version on nikeresponsibility.com, its CSR website.
Nike worked with APCO throughout the process.