Nike launches hydrogen barge to deliver products as it sails to zero-carbon future

It is part of the sportswear giant’s zero-carbon, zero-waste future, writes Campaign Middle East editor Justin Harper

Nike is launching the world’s first hydrogen-powered inland container ship as part of its zero-carbon, zero-waste future.

The sportswear giant says the ultimate goal is ‘to help create a better world for all athletes’ as it takes another step on its Move To Zero journey.

The ‘H₂ Barge 1’ is described as the world’s first inland vessel to sail on hydrogen. Nike retrofitted the original diesel barge to replace its combustion engine with hydrogen technology, a system that has zero carbon dioxide emissions.

By using fuel cells and green hydrogen on the barge, Nike expects a reduction of 2,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. It will transport products for Europe, sailing between Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Nike’s European Logistics Campus in Belgium.

The vessel builds on several innovative steps that Nike is taking in sustainable logistics to close in on its 2025 target, reducing carbon emissions and getting products to athletes with less impact on the planet.

Beyond hydrogen-powered shipping, Nike is currently in the final testing phase of a hydrogen truck for customer deliveries in Europe. Meanwhile, the company is also scaling electric van deliveries in key European cities, including Paris and London.

Globally, Nike is reducing its use of air freight by aligning production schedules with ocean freight departures and diversifying its distribution footprint to get product closer and faster to consumers.

This is critical work because air freight produces 42 times more carbon emissions than ocean freight does. To further reduce emissions, the company is also reducing the weight of the shipping cartons used to move product around the world.

Noel Kinder, Nike’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said: “We know the odds of success increase when we approach a problem together with ingenuity and grit.

“As we move toward 2025, our resolve is steady, and we’re in it for the long haul, committed to progress over perfection as we continue to create solutions and leverage our influence to build momentum and move the world forward through sport”.