“Less is more” is easier said than done for giant corporations looking to implement sustainability efforts across their organizations, but that hasn’t stopped Nike and Patagonia from trying.
The two athletic apparel companies were recognized on Monday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, for their efforts in reducing waste in their processes and products. Their joint award was one of seven given out as part of The Circulars, an annual awards program put together by Accenture Strategy and the World Economic Forum’s Community of Young Global Leaders. Fortune is a media partner.
Nike was chosen for its commitment to “double its business with half the impact” — right now, 71% of all Nike footwear and apparel reportedly includes recycled materials such as factory scrap. Patagonia was recognized for its “long track record of sustainable innovation in the industry,” including its ongoing campaign to encourage consumers to repair their worn items instead of tossing them and buying new.
All of those recognized by The Circulars embody the “circular economy” ethos — the notion that individuals, businesses, and other organizations should rely less on finite resources and rethink the notion of waste. Finalists in every category showed a “tangible, demonstrable impact to their organization and society,” a “mature and holistic understanding application of circular economy principles,” and a “true ambition to lead and drive change,” according to Accenture Strategy global managing director Peter Lacy.
Here are all seven winners of the 2017 Circulars:
William McDonough, chief executive of McDonough Innovation, winner of the Fortune Award for Circular Economy Leadership.
Nike and Patagonia, joint winners of the Accenture Strategy Award for Circular Economy Multinational.
MBA Polymers, winner of the Young Global Leaders Award for Circular Economy.
Scottish government, winner of the AB InBev Award for Circular Economy Governments, Cities and Regions.
SJF Ventures, winner of the CNBC Award for Circular Economy Investor.
Rubicon Global, winner of the Ecolab Award for Circular Economy Digital Disruptor.
Bioelektra Group, winner of the Dell Circular Economy People’s Choice Award.
This year’s winners came from a pool of more than 230 applicants in 37 countries.