My research on the ‘greenness’ of the golf industry has continued. My last post focused on Acushnet, Callaway and TaylorMade/Adidas and I have still not received responses to my information requests from the first two. I continued investigating club companies – this time focusing on Wilson, Nike and Ping.
Wilson Sporting Goods is an Amer Sports Brand. Wilson introduced its Green Initiative last year and one of the key elements is to increase the use of post-consumer recycled PET in tennis ball cans to at least 25%. The company has also replaced other packaging materials with more environmentally friendly alternatives. Gloves are now packed in cardboard instead of PVC and the new Wilson Rebound basketball now contains 40% recycled rubber and 80% of the packaging material consists of recycled cardboard. The Green Initiative has also brought about changes in production methods. For example, the amount of volatile solvents has been reduced in the manufacture of [K]Factor rackets.
Nike has set a number of broad goals to reduce their footprint across their entire supply chain including reducing waste, reducing CO2 emissions, using chemistry and design innovation to eliminate toxins and waste, and creating products that can be reused or recycled. They have begun using recycled polyester in several active apparel items and have set a goal to incorporate a minimum of 5 percent organic cotton in all cotton materials by 2010. Nike admits to being one of the world’s largest users of white leather and in 2006 formed the Leather Working Group (LWG) to asses the practices of leather tanneries and to promote best practices in the industry.
While Ping Golf does not have a posted environmental policy I did find another initiative worth noting. Ping offers a rebate program to Active Duty & Active Reserve members (and spouses) on club purchases as well as provides golf clubs to military personnel in various war zones around the world.
Of these three companies Nike appears to have made a strong commitment to environmental sustainability but of the six club companies that I have researched so far Taylormade/adidas group seems to be making the most strides. Stay tuned.