Nike: corporate citizen
Nike as a company has achieved a great deal as a corporate citizen. It is ranked as one of the top ten best corporate citizens in the world. Together with other organizations and corporations it has started many programs directed at achieving the best socio-corporate status in the world. A good example is the Nine Million Organization which was started by Nike, Microsoft and The United Nations Refugees Agency (UNHCR) started its campaign in 2006 with its target being to offer nine million children better access to education, sport and technology by the year 2010. Nike also plans to invest a “minimum $315 million in grants, product donations and in-kind support through 2011 to give excluded youth greater access to sport”. www.nike.com
However, Nike has seen its fair share of criticism concerning its handling of social-corporate responsibilities. There have been some reports that its affiliate companies’ workers are working in conditions that leave a lot to be desired. These reports also indicate that a good percentage of their workers are underage workers and children especially in Pakistan where it is reported that journalists have spotted young girls sewing Nike footballs.
Nike still insists that their responsibility as a global company “is to play a role in bringing about positive systematic change for workers within their own supply chain and in the overall industry”. www.nike.com
In its environmental responsibility, Nike says its considered design combines premium performance innovation with environmental sustainability. In their effort to preserve the environment, Nike has a Restricted Substance List (RSL) in their website
(www.nikeresponsibility.com/#environment-design). This are the facts that keep Nike on the top ten list of the world’s best corporate citizens.
Nike Social Responsibilities
The company has social responsibility to consumers, workers as well as the environment.
Nike has stated that one of their greatest responsibility as a global company “is to play a role in bringing about positive systematic change for workers within their own supply chain and in the overall industry”. The company also continues to say that the needs and aspirations of the 800,000 plus work force under its supply chain contract eclipses any other group in the industry. This means that the company takes the welfare of its employees seriously and that the interest of their employees supersedes all other group interests it deals with. (Steven)
Nike’s social responsibility also extends to the company’s products consumers. A good example is where in cooperation with UNHCR and Microsoft has started the Nine Million Organization which has a campaign of helping more than nine million children to access education, sport and technology. It also has other projects that are underway of helping people in the world achieve a better life than they already have. This they hope to achieve mostly through the field of sports. Nike also has Restricted Substance List in their website and their products are not made from these substances as they may endanger the consumers’ health and livelihood. The most important project is the let me play project where they give access to sports benefits to children. (Steven)
Nike’s responsibility also entails caring for the environment. In order to conserve the environment, they have the ‘Nike Re-use a Shoe’ and ‘Nike Grind projects’ whereby used shoes and other company’s products are recycled.
Advantages of Nike social responsibility
Improved livelihood of many people in the world especially Nike’s employees and product consumer.
Improved environmental status in the world.
It is concerned about the welfare of its employees and in so doing it improves the welfare of some of the citizens of the third world countries citizens.
Disadvantages of Nike social responsibility
Increased prices of their products.
Most of the benefits extended by Nike only help the owners of the contract supply factories instead of end employee of the companies.
Nike’s prices in relation to the corporate social responsibility
Nike currently enjoys the top position in sports equipment industry, followed by Reebok and Adidas. This shows that the price of Nike’s products still offer them a chance of good competition even when they are engaged in corporate social responsibilities. It also shows that Nike has quality products to offer the consumers and that it still has the social responsibility towards its consumers. (http://www.mallenbaker.net)
So in the real sense it could be said that Nike’s prices are not too high; this is partly because of the company’s social responsibility and partly because it offers its consumers high quality products. In any case consumers would feel obliged to support a company that offers such good corporate responsibility to the world community inclusive of its consumers and employees. As evident from (http://www.unc.edu/~andrewsr/ints092/vandu.html) Nike is the leading sport equipment producer in the industry. (Steven)
Nike promotes its social corporate responsibility and it is evident by the fact that they have a website which promotes the company’s effort in social corporate responsibility. In the company’s website www.nikebiz.com the company promotes various projects it has and how it intends to continue caring for the community. It has a list of projects that are intended to further its social corporate responsibility.
Nike Responsibility: Innovate for a Better World: Accessed on 10th September 2008 from www.nikebiz.com
www.nikeresponsibility.com Accessed on 10th September 2008 from
Steven Van Dusen: The Manufacturing Practices of the Footwear Industry: Nike vs. the Competition: Accessed on 10th September 2008 from
Corporate Social Responsibility – Companies in the News – Nike: Accessed on 10th September2008 from http://www.mallenbaker.net/csr/CSRfiles/nike.html