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Nike and Ocean Conservancy urge companies to stop Arctic shipping

By Huw Hughes

31 Oct 2019


Nike has teamed up with nonprofit environmental advocacy group Ocean Conservancy to launch a new campaign protesting the use of Arctic shipping routes.

The US sportswear giant has launched the Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge, encouraging other businesses and industries to avoid travelling through the Arctic’s shipping routes, an area that is becoming increasingly accessible as climate change causes its ice to melt. Sending vessels through the route poses an environmental risk to one of the world’s most fragile regions, with temperatures rising in the Arctic at twice the rate of the rest of the planet.

“At Nike, we exist to serve athletes. That means taking climate action through Move to Zero, Nike’s journey towards a zero carbon, zero waste future,” said Hilary Krane, executive vice president of Nike, in a statement. “We know climate change impacts how our athletes train and play, and whether they get to enjoy sport at all. Through this pledge, we’ve made a clear choice – to help protect the planet and preserve the Arctic.”

Companies already signed up to the Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge include Bestseller, Columbia, Gap Inc., H&M Group, Kering, Li & Fung, PVH Corp., and ocean carriers CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd and Mediterranean Shipping Company.

“The dangers of trans-Arctic shipping routes outweigh all perceived benefits and we cannot ignore the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping on our ocean,” said Janis Searles Jones, CEO of Ocean Conservancy. “Ocean Conservancy applauds Nike for recognizing the real bottom line here is a shared responsibility for the health of the Arctic—and believes the announcement will spur much-needed action to prevent risky Arctic shipping and hopes additional commitments to reduce emissions from global shipping will emerge.”

Photo credit: Nike

Ocean Conservancy