The current situation with environmental protection, the treatment of workers, and Nike’s factories in poor countries has significantly improved over the past few years (Levenson par. 15). This is explained by the fact that the firm’s top management agreed with the fact that they are responsible for their suppliers’ performance. To improve the situation with working conditions and the environmental protection in the factories located in poor lands, the company examined the facilities of its suppliers and invested significant amounts of finances into overcoming the detected problems. According to Levenson (par. 16), “the company sent auditors, including external observers, into suppliers’ plants to gauge conditions, then tried to enforce compliance with its code of conduct”. Besides, “by 2011 the company aims to eliminate excessive overtime across all its contractors’ factories” (Levenson par. 24). Thus, the situation with the problem that the company sad-faced is significantly corrected. However, it is not realistic to expect that the company’s difficulties are solved completely, and it is not surprising because overcoming problems such as the above-mentioned requires much effort and considerable financial investments. Nike and the other global companies should continue putting more effort into making sure that working conditions in their worldwide facilities correspond to reasonable standards of safety and security. Without a doubt, it is a moral responsibility of global enterprises to make sure that their manufacturing process is exercised in accordance with high standards established by the world’s trade unions and environmental organizations.
Speaking about Nike’s politics regarding the protection of the environment and guarantying safe standards of working conditions for its employees worldwide, it should be mentioned that the company has achieved considerable progress in this area during the last decade and especially, over the period of the few last years (Levenson par. 14). The facts demonstrate Nike’s confidence in the importance of defending high standards of environmental protection in its factories. The following information, proving the above-mentioned fact, on the official page of the company on the Internet states:
We believe that the looming crises of climate change, water scarcity and quality, and other resource constraints are even greater long-term challenges than today’s financial turmoil. Natural resources and ecosystem services have been undervalued, and the environmental impacts of business have been regarded as externalities. All this is changing and rightly coming into view as a priority for inclusion in business planning (“Nike: Environment” par. 2).
This expression is not a populist statement. On the contrary, its value is justified by the facts provided in numerous research studies, business reports, and other sources. For example, along with the other important global corporations such as Walmart and Levi, Nike created an apparel index aiming to research the environmental dangers, that are related to its manufacturing process (“Walmart, Nike, Gap” par. 5). Nike invests in this project without fail and implements the results of researches in planning its annual expenses on the environmental protection in the world. Evaluating facts such as this one, I come to the conclusion that much is done by the corporation to fulfill its promises. The only concern regarding Nike’s environmental and trade union policies is about the company’s orderliness and perseverance. This means that it is important for the firm to keep on promoting its environmental protection policy and the measures aiming to guarantee safe working conditions for employees. The reasonableness of this concern is proved by the fact that many companies make their populist statements, they even try following them initially, but when the wide public becomes abated, these companies stop their virtuous activity. Therefore, the essence of my argument about Nike’s politics is in the fact that for now, I do agree with the company’s politics in the field of environment and safe working conditions, but what is going to be next only time will show. I only hope that Nike will proceed in implementing its new politics of “eliminate[ing] what’s not critical” because what the company is doing currently is really praiseworthy and exemplary (“Nike: Environment” par. 5).
Nike and the other global companies must remember their moral obligations in low-wage countries. They have good levels of profits due to these countries and their people who agree to work for smaller salaries and in conditions that are very often worse than permissible. As global companies gain their biggest incomes in poor countries, it is ethical for them to spend some of this money to at least provide people with normal working conditions. When global corporations boast about their great achievements in providing people from their native countries with good salaries and a comfortable working environment, they do not have to forget that the other employees of theirs in poor countries are also humans, and thus, they deserve to have appropriate standards of safety and security at work.
In conclusion, it is important for global enterprises such as Nike to continue doing their good work in the area of environmental protection. Also, top managers of global companies must remember that people live in the only world, and neglecting their environmental obligations in poor lands may one day become a boomerang that will painfully injure their own countries. In addition, as employees in low-wage countries agree to labor for smaller salaries, they at least deserve to have normal conditions at work.
Levenson, Eugenia. Nike. 2008. Web.
Nike: Environment. 2012. Web.
Walmart, Nike, Gap Create Apparel Index. 2011. Web.