Nike reveals sustainable manufacturing achievements
The company’s ultimate goal is to double its business while halving its environmental impact.
Achievements so far include a sustainable overhaul of its manufacturing processes, including using Flyknit technology, which produces 60 percent less waste than traditional cut-and-sew methods. Since 2012, the technology has reduced nearly 3.5 million pounds of waste.
In addition, Nike has been using plastic bottles to convert into recycled polysetser and, since 2010, more than three billion bottles have been diverted from landfills. The company’s ColorDry technology, which dyes fabric using zero water, has saved more than 20 million litres of water.
The company is also working on reducing the amount of energy used to produce its footwear – it takes about half the energy and generates around half the emissions to make Nike shoes as it did eight years ago. Looking to FY25, Nike aims to use 100 percent renewable energy in its owned and operated facilities, and has already implemented on-site renewable energy generation at some of its largest facilities.
Nike also revealed its targets for 2020, which include:
- to have zero waste from contracted footwear manufacturing sent to landfill or incineration without energy recovery
- to source 100 percent of products from contract factories meeting the company’s definition of sustainable
- to create products that deliver maximum performance with minimum impact, seeking a 10 percent reduction in the average environmental footprint and an increased use of more sustainable materials overall
- by the end of 2025, to reach 100 percent renewable energy in owned or operated facilities and to encourage broader adoption of renewable energy as part of an effort to control absolute emissions.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.