PUMA’s first EP&L account sparks waste reduction drive

Sportswear giant PUMA has identified waste reduction as one of the "quick wins" in pushing sustainability further down its supply chain, following on from the results of its first environmental profit and loss (EP&L) account, announced yesterday (November 16).

The EP&L findings revealed that the total cost of environmental impacts generated from the brand’s operations were valued at £124m in 2010 – this includes greenhouse gas emissions, water use, land use, air pollution and waste.

While waste only accounted for £2.6M (2%) of the total amount, the fact that most of this waste is generated across the manufacturing arm of PUMA’s Tier 1 supplier base means the company can directly influence these operations more easily than its Tier 2, 3, and 4 operations.

PUMA’s chairman Jochen Zeitz said: “The closer we are to our own operations and manufacturers, the quicker the wins are. The vast majority of our waste is generated in the Asia Pacific, where most of our Tier 1 suppliers are.

“We are already working closely with them on innovative tools to improve production practices, such as employing more efficient cutting and sewing techniques to reduce waste.”

One of PUMA’s main environmental impact costs is land use, which accounts for £44m (26%) of the total. Here, Zeitz pointed to the use of leather as having the greatest single impact on land use through cattle rearing, and said the company was now looking into alternative materials such as synthetic or recycled leather.

He also indicated that PUMA would look to utilise by-products coming out of other industries, rather than offer an extensive customer takeback scheme. “If these [by-products] were recycled properly, they could be incorporated into our supply chain,” he said.

Maxine Perella

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