How do those new kicks hurt the environment? Well, shoes are often made from leather. And creating the grazing pasture for the cows that provide that leather is the chief reason the Amazon rain forest is being razed. Here’s Greeenpeace’s take on the problem:
Every eight seconds, an acre of Amazon rainforest is destroyed for Brazilian cattle ranching, which is the biggest single driver of deforestation in the world. Forest destruction accounts for almost 20 percent of global emissions, more climate pollution than all the world’s cars, trucks, trains, planes, and ships combined.
Yet the supply chain from cow to slaughter house to tanner to shoe factory is so circuitous it’s near to impossible to know where the leather in a pair of shoes came from, even for a huge manufacturer such as Nike (NKE, BX). Now, the sports giant has pledged to eliminate leather hides sourced from the Amazon region.
Working with Greenpeace, Nike has issued a set of sourcing rules requiring full traceability and transparency from their suppliers by 2010. Nike’s pledge also includes terms to review contracts with suppliers that been found to use slave labor and suppliers that have infringed on Indian land or other protected areas.
“Slaughtering the Amazon” is available at http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/press-center/reports4/slaughtering-the-amazon
Nike’s statement and policy are available at http://www.nikebiz.com/media/pr/2009/07/22_AmazonLeatherPolicy.html