For instance, Nike’s air-bag patent for cushioning shoes is crucial to its core shoe business, but may have environmental benefits in other industries — perhaps in prolonging the useful life of tires. Green Xchange could enable Nike to license the air-bag technology selectively to noncompeting companies.
ACCORDING to Kelly Lauber, a global director in Nike’s Sustainable Business and Innovation Lab, sharing technology can have tremendous environmental impact. By sharing its water-based adhesive technology and working with footwear makers, Ms. Lauber estimates that average levels of environmentally harmful solvents used by Nike’s suppliers have decreased to less than 15 grams per pair of shoes from 350 in 1997.
Perhaps the biggest upside of Green Xchange may come from the development of communities that collaborate in innovation and the exchange of ideas.
Note the mention of noncompeting companies.