Nike's Hydrogen-Powered Vessel for Inland Shipping
Nike, a global leader in sportswear and apparel, is actively pursuing its vision of a zero-carbon, zero-waste future.
In line with its Move To Zero journey, the company has launched the world's first hydrogen-powered inland container ship, demonstrating its commitment to creating a better world for athletes and promoting sustainability.
Named "H₂ Barge 1," this groundbreaking vessel has been retrofitted by Nike, replacing its combustion engine with hydrogen technology, resulting in zero carbon dioxide emissions. The ship operates using fuel cells and green hydrogen, emitting only humid air and clean water.
By adopting this hydrogen-powered solution, Nike anticipates an annual reduction of 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. In addition, the vessel operates quietly, minimising environmental impact and providing a more comfortable experience for the crew while reducing energy waste through hull vibrations and heat.
The hydrogen-powered inland container barge will serve as a transportation mode for NIKE, Inc. products in Europe, shuttling between Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Nike's European Logistics Campus (ELC) in Belgium.
This innovative initiative builds upon Nike's sustainable logistics efforts to achieve its 2025 target of reducing carbon emissions and minimising the environmental footprint of product distribution. In Europe, 99 per cent of inbound containers reach the ELC via water, eliminating approximately 14,000 truck journeys annually. In addition to hydrogen-powered shipping, Nike is also in the final testing phase of a hydrogen truck for customer deliveries in Europe. Furthermore, the company is scaling up electric van deliveries in major European cities like Paris and London.
On a global scale, Nike is actively reducing its reliance on air freight by aligning production schedules with ocean freight departures and optimising its distribution network to bring products closer to consumers more efficiently. This strategic shift is crucial as air freight generates 42 times more carbon emissions compared to ocean freight. To further reduce its environmental impact, Nike is also working on reducing the weight of shipping cartons used worldwide, with a weight reduction of approximately 1.6 million pounds achieved in the 2021 fiscal year.
Nike's Chief Sustainability Officer, Noel Kinder, highlights the ongoing process of reimagining shipping for sustainability and emphasises the company's commitment to tackling this challenge with creativity and determination. Kinder states, "We understand that collaboration, innovation, and perseverance are key to success. As we approach 2025, our determination remains unwavering, and we are fully committed to progress over perfection. We will continue to develop solutions and leverage our influence to drive momentum and propel the world forward through sport."
The "H₂ Barge 1" will commence operations in June in partnership with Dutch shipping company Future Proof Shipping, hydrogen provider Air Liquide, and the BCTN network of inland terminals.
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