The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Michael Crocker, Media Director,, 202-215-8989
Lindsey Allen, Forest Campaigner,, 415-710-5601

Greenpeace Applauds Nike's New Amazon Policy

Nike will no longer use leather from cattle raised in the Amazon; new policy protects the rainforest and the climate


Today, Nike announced a new policy that ensures
the leather used in Nike shoes will not contribute to global warming
caused by Amazon deforestation.

The Greenpeace report "Slaughtering the Amazon" released last month was
the culmination of a three-year investigation that tracked beef,
leather and other cattle products from ranches involved in
deforestation at the heart of the Amazon rainforest, as well as the
invasion of indigenous lands and slavery, back to the supply chains of
top brands like Adidas, Reebok and Timberland.

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.

Working directly with Greenpeace, Nike created a new policy that
requires leather suppliers to certify in writing that leather supplied
for Nike products is not coming from cattle raised in the Amazon
biome. The cattle industry is Brazil's top source of CO2 emissions and
the largest driver of deforestation in the world.

"We applaud the leadership that Nike is taking on the critical issue of
Amazon deforestation," says Greenpeace National Campaigns Director Lisa
Finaldi. "Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is why Brazil is now
ranked as the world's fourth largest C02 polluter. Nike's actions
demonstrate the measures that other major players in the footwear
sector-like Reebok, Adidas and Timberland-need to take to protect the
Amazon. By taking responsibility for their part of the problem and by
working together with the Brazilian people and their government, we
will see real, effective solutions to combat climate change."

Slaughterhouses in the Amazon region ship cattle hides to facilities in
the south of Brazil, where they are further processed before export.
Greenpeace is calling for greater transparency in this supply chain so
that cattle from deforested areas in the Amazon are not being
"laundered" through these methods, and then provided to companies like
Nike, eventually ending up in everyday American products. Nike's
commitment to require full traceability and transparency from their
suppliers by 2010 is an important first step, changing the industry
from the inside out.

Nike's agreement also includes commitments 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" tracked leather, beef, and other cattle
products as they made their way from cattle ranches in the Amazon
rainforest to processing plants, manufacturers, and ultimately products
we buy every day. The report highlights the need to end deforestation
in the Amazon for cattle and the importance of having people, industry,
and governments work together to halt deforestation for cattle
expansion and the need to implement a global solution that includes
forest protection as part of a strong climate deal from the UN
Copenhagen Climate Summit in December 2009.

"Slaughtering the Amazon" is available at

Nike's statement and policy are available at

Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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