PUMA reduces carbon paw print

Sport Business News

After more than 10 years of successful implementation of its social and environmental standards (puma.safe) and the introduction of its company initiative PUMAVision in 2009, Sportlifestyle company PUMA has launched the next pivotal phase of its ambitious long–term sustainability programme.

PUMA's latest sustainability plans were unveiled at the United Nations conference 'The Business for the Environment Summit' in Seoul, Korea on 22 – 23 April, 2010. By introducing its cutting–edge sustainable packaging and distribution system by industrial designer Yves Behar, PUMA aims to set new standards within the Sportlifestyle retail industry. The new innovative solution will significantly reduce the amount of waste and CO2 emissions that traditional product packaging such as shoe–boxes and apparel polyethylene bags generate and underpins PUMA's target of reducing carbon, energy, water, and waste by 25%, and developing 50% of its international product collections in footwear, apparel and accessories according to best practice sustainability standards by 2015. PUMA has been collecting E–KPIs (environmental key performance indicators) from all its offices and stores worldwide for the last five years and identified several key areas that need to be dealt with in order to further reduce PUMA's 'paw print'. To address these issues, PUMA is launching its next phase of puma. safe initiatives in the company's long–term sustainability programme laying out ambitious targets to be achieved by 2015. The major objectives PUMA has set out to achieve in this period include: 25% reduction of CO2, energy, water and waste in PUMA offices, stores, warehouses and direct supplier factories. Paperless office policy through a 75% reduction and offsetting initiatives for the remaining paper usage such as tree planting initiatives. 25% CO2 reduction through more efficient product transport solutions by our logistic partners. Begin collaborating with our strategic suppliers and logistic service providers to offset their own footprints in the long–term. Introduction of the PUMA Sustainability–Index (S–Index) standard that serves as a benchmark for sustainable products and communicates the products' sustainable features to consumers. 50% of PUMA's international collections will be manufactured according to the PUMA S–Index standard by 2015, using sustainable materials such as organic cotton, Cotton Made in Africa or recycled polyester as well as applying best practice production processes. To monitor these objectives PUMA is also establishing an external Advisory Board of experts in sustainability to consult on PUMA's mission and audit PUMA's sustainability programme. " For a long time our mission has been to become the most desirable Sportlifestyle company. With this next phase of our sustainability programme we have evolved our mission to be the most desirable and sustainable Sportlifestyle company in the world, " said Jochen Zeitz, chairman and CEO of PUMA. " Through PUMAVision and our puma. safe programme we have already started to reduce our carbon emissions, curtail wasteful transportation, recycle and reuse available materials, use water sparingly and become paperless. " Through PUMAVision, the company's vision of a better world, initiatives fall under the three pillars of puma. safe, puma. peace, and puma. creative to drive the company to cleaner, greener, safer and more sustainable systems and practices contributing to peace as well as promoting creativity and the arts. Under the puma. safe programme, PUMA's ultimate objective is to give back to the environment what it has taken. PUMA's longstanding work and efforts to improve social, labour and environmental standards throughout its operations date back to 1999. From that time, the company has continuously incorporated environmentally–friendly practices to reduce its impact on the planet and realised several successful large–scale initiatives such as sourcing of raw materials through the 'Cotton made in Africa' campaign to building the capacity of its suppliers as well as the opening of the industry's first carbon neutral head office – the PUMAVision Headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany in 2009 after joining the UN Climate Neutral Network. The next milestone in PUMA's mission to be the most desirable and sustainable Sportlifestyle company in the world is the introduction of an innovative packaging and distribution system for PUMA products that will reduce the paper used for shoeboxes by 65% and carbon emissions by 10 tons per year – the remaining packaging materials used will be fully sustainable by 2015. PUMA partnered with designer Yves Behar, of San Francisco based fuseproject, to rethink the way the millions of pairs of shoes that it sells each year are packaged – less packaging means fewer raw materials, less use of water and energy to produce, and less weight to ship and to be disposed of. Behar designed a 'Clever Little Bag' to replace the cardboard shoebox with a re–usable shoe bag, that protects each pair of shoes from damage from the point it leaves the factory until the consumer takes it home–thus generating savings on the production side due to less material used, reducing weight during transport and eliminating the need for extra plastic carrier bags. As a result of the 65% paper reduction through the 'Clever Little Bag' concept PUMA will reduce water, energy and diesel consumption on the manufacturing level by more than 60% per year. In other words: approximately 8, 500 tons less paper will be consumed, 20 Megajoules of electricity saved, 1m litres less of fuel oil used and 1m litres of water saved. During transport 500, 000 litres of diesel is saved and lastly, due to the replacement of traditional shopping bags with the lighter built–in bag the difference in weight can save up to 275 tons of plastic. " I was excited to partner with PUMA and contribute to such a game changing project, " said Yves Behar. " PUMA's initiative to look closely at one of the most challenging issues facing the retail industry in regards to sustainability and environmental harm was inspirational. In changing the packaging and distribution life cycle from the ground up, we hope our new design and comprehensive solution encourages other retail companies to follow suit. " PUMA's apparel collections will be bagged using sustainable material, replacing traditional polyethylene bags. This means that 720 tons of polyethylene bags can be avoided per year, which equals a saving of 29m plastic bags – enough to cover an area the size of 1, 000 football pitches. Furthermore, PUMA T–shirts will be folded one more time to reduce the packaging size and thus saving CO2 emissions and costs during transport. By switching out current plastic and paper shopping bags in PUMA stores and replacing them with sustainable biodegradable bags the sportlifestyle company is looking to save another 192 tons of plastic and 293 tons of paper annually. The roll out of the new packaging and distribution system is planned as of the second half of 2011. PUMA's long–term sustainability programme, however, will not stop with the accomplishment of the ambitions outlined above. The company takes responsibility to further reduce harm, working towards closed–loop systems and recycling programs. PUMA will continue to find innovative solutions that no longer deplete resources and will offset its 'paw print' where further mitigation is not possible.

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