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How sustainable is Converse ?

Converse & sustainability


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First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 10 out of 36

Sustainability summary

Converse has achieved the D-label. According to us, brand owner Nike Inc. has started to take sustainability into account, by implementing measures to reduce climate emissions, using preferable raw materials such as canvas for at least some of the Converse sneaker, or by collaborating with several organisations, such as Fair Labor Association(FLA), to improve the labor conditions in its supply chain. Still, a lot more can be done.

Brand owner: Nike Inc.
Head office: North Andover, MA, USA
Sector: Shoes & footwear
Categories : Male, Female, Kids
Free Tags: NikeInc, Shoes, Sneaker

What's your sustainability news about Converse?

Converse sustainability score report

Last edited: 18 September 2016 by Mario
Last reviewed: 18 September 2016 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

2 out of 6
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Nike, Inc. (brand owner of Converse) implements several measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as the use of renewable energy and implementing energy efficiency measures (see link, page 32-37). Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual carbon footprint of its 'own operations' and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? Nike, Inc. increased its climate footprint (Scope 1-3) from 1.753.757 metric tons of CO2e in FY12 to 1.891.154 metric tons of CO2e in FY15, which represents an increase of around 7,8% (see link, page 34). Source
3. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? Nike, Inc. uses and generates renewable energy and aims to use 100% renewable energy for its electricity by 2025. Its current share of renewable energy used, as well as sources of supply and its additionality are not specified however (see link, page 35-37). Source
4. Is all the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 3. Source
5. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce the carbon footprint of its 'own operations' by at least 20% within the next 5 years? Nike, Inc. aims to use 100% renewable energy by the end of FY25 as part of its effort to control absolute emissions, and states that this will be equivalent to reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions in those facilities by more than 50% from FY15 to FY25 (see link, page 18 & 28). Source
6. Does the brand (company) also have a policy to reduce/compensate carbon emissions generated from the product supply chain that is beyond own operations? Nike, Inc. plans to reduce upstream Scope 3 carbon emissions per unit of apparel and footwear, which includes finished goods manufacturing and textile dyeing and finishing. Respective results of its measures are not clear enough specified however (see link, page 35-37). Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

4 out of 16
1. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 5% of its volume? Nike, Inc. (brand owner of Converse) implements several measures with regard to the use of more sustainable raw materials, such as organic cotton or recycled polyester. An overall share more sustainable raw materials processed for Converse is not specified however (see link, page27-31). Source
2. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 10% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 25% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
4. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 50% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
5. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 75% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
6. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 90% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
7. Does the brand have a clear and effective policy to avoid the use of leather that originates from cattle farms in deforestated Amazone areas? Nike, Inc. has permitted for all its products that animal skins sourced from the Amazone Biome. Reporting on the progress of implementing this policy is not provided yet however (see link, page 64-65). Source
8. Does the brand (company) have a clear and effective policy to minimize environmental pollution of chromium and other harmful substances from leather tanning processes, e.g. by waste water treatment or by vegetable tanning? With regard to Converse products Nike, Inc. does not openly communicate a policy to limit chromium and other harmful substances pollution caused by leather tanning processes. Source
9. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures to make the footwear? Nike, Inc. implements measures to limit the use of hazardous chemicals. However, according to Greenpeace, Nike, Inc is categorized as 'Faux-Pas' in doing so. Source
10. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least one suspect chemical group, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? According to Greenpeace, Nike, Inc. has successfully eliminated 90% of the PFCs it uses. But, Nike, Inc. does not report whether at least one suspect chemical group, such as PFC or phthalates can be considered as fully eliminated from its entire production for Converse. Source
11. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least three suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? See remark for environmental policy question 10. Source
12. Does the brand (company) have a clear target to phase out PVC in their products, and has the brand already achieved a PVC phase out level of more than 90%? According to its Restricted Substances List (RSL), Nike, Inc. has been committed to the complete phase-out of PVC from the supply chain since 2011 (see link, page 6). Source
13. Has the brand (company) a clear and effective policy to minimize the use of solvents based chemicals in their shoe production, and has the brand already achieved a level of average max. 40 grams of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions per pair of shoes? Nike, Inc. reports about having a plan to reduce solvent based chemicals in their shoe production, and has achieved a level of average 12 grams of petroleum-derived solvents emissions per pair of shoe (see link, page 48). Source
14. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of its shipping packaging and carrier bags, by reducing, re-using, recycling and responsible sourcing of packaging materials, and does the brand annually report on these results? Nike, Inc. implements several measures to reduce its packaging material footprint. But, concrete aggregate results regarding its consumer packaging materials footprint are not made public (see link, page 41). Source
15. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? Nike, Inc. implements several measures to minimize the environmental impact of its generated waste. Concrete aggregate results regarding its waste materials footprint are reported. In FY15, 2,849 tons of waste were generated at Nike, Inc. world headquarters (which is a reduction of around 16,7% compared to FY14) (see link, page 23, 38-41 & 91). Source
16. Does the brand (company) encourage the return or re-use of garments? For the US and European markets Nike Inc. runs its Reuse-A-Shoe programme for its brands Nike and Converse. Customers can re-turn worn out shoes at most of Nike and Converse retail stores. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

4 out of 14
1. Does the brand (company) have a supplier Code of Conduct (CoC) which includes the following standards: No forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace? All standards are mentioned in the Nike, Inc. (brand owner of Converse) “Code of Conduct” (CoC). Source
2. Does this CoC include at least two of the following workers rights: 1. to have a formally registered employment relationship 2. to have a maximum working week of 48 hours with voluntary and paid overtime of 12 hours maximum 3. to have a sufficient living wage? 1. Yes, work is performed on the basis of a recognized employment relationship established through country law and practice. 2.No, maximum working week is 60 hours, but hours of overtime are consensual and compensated at a premium rate. 3. No, mentioning of minimum wage, not living wage. Source
3. Does this Code of Conduct include the right for workers to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, the right to facilitate parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining? Freedom of association is mentioned, but nothing found about situations in which this right is restricted by law. Source
4. Does this labour conditions policy also apply further down the production chains, at least covering the leather production or the animal farms? Nike, Inc. mentions that this labour conditions policy binds its contract factories to follow the mentioned standards, but does not make clear if it covers also the leather production or the animal farms. Source
5. Does the brand (company) have a published list of direct suppliers, that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? Nike, Inc. published a list that covers all its active direct suppliers for Converse. Source
6. Is the brand (company) a member of a collective initiative that aims to improve labor conditions, or does the brand (company) purchase its supplies from accredited factories with improved labor conditions? Nike, Inc. is a member of FLA, which means that Labour Unions and/or business-independent NGO’s have a formal and co-decisive voice within the initiative and are co-responsible for its integrity and credibility (see link, page 52). Source
7. Do independent civil society organizations like NGO's and labor unions have a decisive voice in this collective initiative or in these certification schemes? See remark for labor conditions policy question 6. Source
8. Is there a policy for the brand (company) for capacity building at the apparel manufacturers for improved labour practices? With its “Manufacturing Revolution” programme Nike Inc. implements measures to improve labour practices, including increase in quality and productivity of production. But, concrete results with regard to improved labour conditions, such as reduced absenteeism or increase on average wages, are not reported yet (see link, page 51-57). Source
9. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy? Is at least 90% of the brands production volume from apparel manufacturers monitored for labour conditions? According to Nike, Inc. more than 1,300 factory audits were conducted in FY14 & FY15. It is unclear however what percentage of the production volume this represents. In addition, reporting on results is not detailed enough (see link, page 58-64). Source
10. Is at least 25% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? Some audits in FY14 & FY15 were conducted by third parties such as “Better Work”. But, Nike, Inc. does not clearly specify which share of its production volume can be considered approved as socially compliant by eligible third parties like “Better Work” (see link, page 63). Source
11. Is at least 50% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 10. Source
12. Does the brand (company) implement a policy to establish the payment of living wages at its apparel manufacturers? Are at least first living wage payments realised? Nike, Inc. implements measures with regard to compensation models enabling increased wage payments. Whether first living wage payments are realized is not yet specified however (see link, page 16, 54-55 & 63). Source
13. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy for the leather, yarn and fabric production phases, including a reasonable overview of the number and region of workplaces covered by the policy in relation to the total production volume? Nike, Inc. does not report on clear results of its labour conditions policy for the fabric manufacturing phases. Source
14. Are at least 50% of the brand's leather, yarn and fabric production phases approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FLO-Cert, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 13. Source