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Nike, BICEP partner on climate change and energy issues

Five leading U.S. corporations, including NIKE, Inc. joined with Ceres to announce the launch of a new business coalition calling for strong U.S. climate and energy legislation in early 2009 to spur the clean energy economy and reduce global warming pollution. The group’s key principles include stimulating renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency and green jobs, requiring 100 percent auction of carbon allowances, and limiting new coal-fired power plants to those that capture and store carbon emissions.

The founding members of Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) are NIKE, Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Starbucks, Sun Microsystems and The Timberland Company.

BICEP members believe that climate change impacts will ripple across all sectors of the economy and that various new business perspectives are needed to provide a full spectrum of viewpoints for solving the climate and energy challenges facing America.

"These companies have a clear message for next year’s Congress: move quickly on climate change to kick-start a transition to a prosperous clean energy economy fueled by green jobs,” said Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres, which helped organize BICEP.

“We really felt strongly that the consumer facing brands' voice was missing from this dialogue," said Sarah Severn, director of Horizons, corporate responsibility at Nike. "A lot of us have been working consistently on climate change efforts over the years. Our consumers are familiar with it, our legislators less so, and we felt that was an important voice."

The coalition’s goal is to work directly with key allies in the business community and members of Congress to pass meaningful energy and climate change legislation consistent with the following eight core principles:

Set greenhouse gas reduction targets to at least 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Establish an economy-wide GHG cap-and-trade system that auctions 100 percent of carbon pollution allowances, promotes energy efficiency and accelerates clean energy technologies. Establish aggressive energy efficiency policies to achieve at least a doubling of our historic rate of energy efficiency improvement. Encourage transportation for a clean energy economy by promoting fuel-efficient vehicles, plug-in electric hybrids, low-carbon fuels, and transit-oriented development. Increase investment in energy efficiency, renewables and carbon capture and storage technologies while eliminating subsidies for fossil-fuel industries. Stimulate job growth through investment in climate-based solutions, especially “green-collar” jobs in low-income communities and others vulnerable to climate change’s economic impact. Adopt a national renewable portfolio standard requiring 20 percent of electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2020, and 30 percent by 2030. Limit construction of new coal-fired power plants to those that capture and store carbon emissions, create incentives for carbon capture technology on new and existing plants, and phase out existing coal-based power plants that do not capture and store carbon by 2030.

Nike has already been working on reducing our climate footprint for over a decade. Some examples include:

* Working with the World Wildlife Fund we reduced our own operations CO2 emissions by 18 percent between 1998 and 2005, despite significant growth in our business.In 1997 we committed to fully phasing out SF6, a global warming gas used in Air-Sole cushioning units and by 2006 the phase out had been completed in all Nike-branded footwear.Our distribution center in Belgium uses 6 wind turbines to generate all the electricity needed to run the facility.  In fact, we’re able to redirect energy back to the community power grid.

* While we have made good strides with our own operations we know that a larger part of Nike’s climate change impact comes from the operations of the more than 700 contract factories producing Nike-branded product. Footwear manufacturing accounts for approximately 60 percent of Nike’s CO2 footprint and apparel and equipment combined represent about 8 percent.

* Nike has begun a program working collaboratively with our key footwear contract factory partners to help improve their energy efficiency and assist with embedding green building principles into the design and construction of new factories. We are in the first phase of this energy efficiency program with factory partners in China, Indonesia and Vietnam.

For more details on BICEP and the BICEP principles, visit www.ceres.org/BICEP.