During the 2016 Olympics, Nike put female athletes in the spotlight in its popular "Unlimited" ad campaign—and it promoted diversity in its own business. In 2016, the majority of the company’s employees were minorities, and women made up 48% of its global workforce.
The company is also a pioneer in sustainable infrastructure. At a massive distribution center in Europe—expanded in 2016—99% of incoming shipments of shoes arrive by canal instead of on trucks, and the whole center runs on renewable energy. Six giant wind turbines produce as much power as 5,000 houses use; rooftop solar panels cover an area the size of three soccer fields. A thermal energy systems stores warm water in the summer to use for heat in the winter, and flips when the seasons change.
By using boats for incoming deliveries, and trains to ship shoes out, the center avoids 14,000 truck journeys a year, saving fuel. Inside the center, hybrid cranes generate energy as they work, helping power conveyor belts and other cranes. An experimental "daylight delivery system" delivers natural light to dark corners without electricity. Instead of using lawnmowers, the grounds are groomed by sheep; on-site beehives provide pollination. Sidewalks are paved with recycled shoes instead of concrete. On the roof and walls, a layer of plants insulates the facility, saving more energy. Nike plans to take best practices from the facility to the rest of its global supply chain. It will help the company meet a major goal: by 2025, Nike plans to run on 100% renewable energy.