Nike and Patagonia were awarded the Accenture Strategy Award for Circular Economy Multinational (Joint Award) at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters.
According to a statement from Accenture, Nike was honored “for leading work on material efficiency and waste reduction and aiming to double their business with half the impact through adopting circular economy principles.” Patagonia received the award “for a long track record of sustainable innovation in the industry and embedding the principles of the circular economy into their business strategy through the likes of their ‘Worn Wear’ initiatives.”
According to the Circulars 2017 Finalists website, Nike “announced an ambitious goal – to double its business with half the impact – and through adopting the principles of the circular economy at the centre of this strategy. Nike have identified the essential global requirement for product and business model innovation, including the transition from linear to circular models and to a world that demands closed-loop products, designed with better materials, made with fewer resources and assembled to allow reuse. Nike are already on their journey. Today 71 percent of all Nike footwear and apparel incorporates recycled materials, and their designers use 29 high-performance materials made from factory scrap. They are implementing and scaling new design and manufacturing processes, with materials reclaimed throughout production and at the end of a product’s life. In doing so, Nike are reimagining waste streams as value streams, and are supporting the development of low-impact, regenerative materials. To accelerate this change, Nike are also driving collaboration with industry, innovators, policymakers, and business to deliver resources and capabilities that accelerate system-level change.”
Acording to the Circulars 2017 Finalists website, Patagonia, “has the principles of the circular economy embedded into its business strategy. A certified B-Corporation, Patagonia’s mission is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. Patagonia feels a responsibility to make higher quality products to help customers reclaim the act of ownership, make parts accessible and repair easy, as well as to celebrate the effort of trying to fix something. By ensuring the usable life of its products are extended, Patagonia can reduce related carbon, waste and water footprints by up to 20-30 percent per person (WRAP, 2012) simply because we’re making and throwing away less. This drives more impact than any changes Patagonia or any other company could make in fiber choice, production practices, or laundering. To enable this, Patagonia has driven the collection of garments from customers since 2005 and so far has diverted about 150,000 pounds / 82 tons of gear from landfill in the USA. While Patagonia employs over 60 repair technicians at their service center in Reno, Nevada, the largest outdoor gear repair facility in North America, and completes about 45,000 repairs per year. (FY16) Their ‘Worn Wear’ campaign has also led to huge consumer participation and last year (FY16) over 35,000 people came to Worn Wear tour stops in the US and Europe (combined).”
Nike didn’t respond to the award recognition.
Patagonia put out a statement noting that in summer 2017 it will launch an e-commerce Worn Wear platform where the company will sell used Patagonia clothing and gear online, sourced directly from its customers. Customers will be invited to bring used items to their local Patagonia store in exchange for Patagonia merchandise credits. The goal of this platform is to extend the life of garments by encouraging people to sell unused clothing, reach new customers and promote the durability and quality of Patagonia products. Additionally, Patagonia will again take Worn Wear on the road, visiting 21 college campuses across the country to support the efforts of student-led zero-waste movements that encourage reduced consumption, repairing, reusing and responsibly recycling.
“Receiving the Accenture Strategy Award for Circular Economy Multinational in Davos is an indication that we are on the right path and hopefully will increase awareness for these issues and inspire other businesses to follow in our footsteps,” noted Rose Marcario, Patagonia’s president and CEO. “We want our friends and customers to learn that the single best thing you can do for the planet is to use stuff longer. Our goal as a company is to continue to provide the tools and resources to make this philosophy a reality in our customer’s lives. We are very excited about our new online platform which we hope will take Worn Wear to a new level.”