Nike and Ocean Conservancy team up to protect the Arctic

today Oct 27, 2019
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Nike and Ocean Conservancy are encouraging businesses to avoid shipping routes via the Arctic Ocean, with the launch of an ‘Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge.'

Global shipping currently accounts for approximately 3% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide - Nike

The sportswear giant and the environmental organization unveiled the pledge this week, inviting companies to commit to not intentionally sending ships through the Arctic ecosystem, which experts fear is becoming increasingly fragile.

Global shipping currently accounts for approximately 3% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

"As Arctic ice continues to diminish because of climate change, it opens the possibility of cargo traffic through ocean routes that were previously unnavigable," reads a press release from Ocean Conservancy.

"And though these routes can offer decreased transit times, increasing vessel traffic on Arctic shipping routes poses great risk and potentially devastating environmental impacts."

Ocean Conservancy also points out that the dangers involved in navigating Arctic waters could increase the element of risk in the event of an accident, stranding or oil spill.

The pledge's signatories have committed to exploring ways to reduce emissions from global shipping and to supporting the development of precautionary Arctic shipping practices, with a view to improving the environmental and human safety of current and potential future Arctic shipping. 

"We know climate change impacts how our athletes train and play, and whether they get to enjoy sport at all," said Hilary Krane, EVP, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, Nike, Inc., in a statement. "Through this pledge, we've made a clear choice -- to help protect the planet and preserve the Arctic."

"The dangers of trans-Arctic shipping routes outweigh all perceived benefits and we cannot ignore the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from global shipping on our ocean," added 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."

Fashion companies including Gap Inc., H&M Group, Kering and PVH Corp. are among the pledge's initial signatories, along with the ocean carriers CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd and Mediterranean Shipping Company.

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