Trends & Features

Companies should be rewarded for cutting environmental impact of production, says PUMA

PUMA is urging governments to incentivise businesses that use sustainable materials in their products and manufacturing processes.

The call comes after the brand’s Environmental Profit and Loss analysis showed PUMA’s new biodegradable InCycle Basket shoe and biodegradable cotton T-shirt caused 31 per cent less environmental impact than their conventional counterparts – but are more expensive to produce.

The study focused on greenhouse gases, emissions, waste and air pollution, the use of natural resources such as water and land during the generation of raw materials and production processes and when customers use, wash, dry, iron and finally dispose of the products.

The Product E P&L also valued these environmental impacts and attached a price tag to each product in Euros and Cents – a move PUMA says that makes comparing products in terms of sustainability easier for consumers.

While the environmental impact of the conventional PUMA Suede, which is made of leather, amounts to €4.29 per pair, the InCycle Basket, whose upper is made from organic cotton and linen, is only €2.95 – 31 per cent lower.

The environmental costs for the conventional PUMA cotton shirt (€3.42) were found to be 31 per cent higher than those for the InCycle shirt (€2.36).

However, PUMA says that if it switched its suede footwear from being made of leather to a high end and sustainable recycled material, the brand would face additional costs of at least €3.4 million in duty rates per year.

“The results of the PUMA Product E P&L demonstrate that we have to steadily increase the share of sustainable materials in our collections so that we mitigate not only PUMA’s but also our consumers’ environmental footprint,” says PUMA’s Chairman Jochen Zeitz.

“For this reason, I call upon governments to start supporting companies to use more sustainable materials in their products, instead of continuing with antiquated incentives such as import duties on synthetic materials that are in principle much higher compared with those placed on leather goods, regardless of the environmental footprint.

“Governments have a unique opportunity to incentivise corporations so that they can accelerate their evolution to a more sustainable economy through more sustainable practices and products.”

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