Looking back at our last target cycle with the 10FOR20 Targets, we can say that we have achieved one of the targets we had missed, related to the wastewater quality from our core suppliers with wet-processing facilities. In 2019, we reported a failure to achieve 90% compliance with the parameter of coliform bacteria. This gap was closed in 2020. Likewise, we were able to achieve our long-term target of 15grams VOC per pair of shoes, after having reported 15.4 grams in 2019. We exceeded our 90% target for more sustainable cotton, up from 82% in 2019 to 100% in 2020. This leaves us with only the air quality target open from the previous target period, and we also made some progress here by checking a sample of 30 core factories for compliance to local air quality regulations. The check revealed full compliance for all of the factories reviewed.
2020 was dominated by the global COVID-19 pandemic and the new challenges it brought for PUMA and our business partners. Our strategy to collaborate closely with our core suppliers and wholesale partners paid off during this difficult period. As a result, we were able to limit order cancellations and support our suppliers with our long-term Vendor Financing Program that is linked to sustainability. Taking this concept further, we also secured green financing tools for PUMA, in collaboration with ING and Bank of America.
By and large, our 10FOR25 target cycle started out successfully. We significantly increased our internal and external communications on more sustainable products via our Forever Better Platform https://about.puma.com/en/forever-better.
At the same time, we were able to source 100% of our cotton, (close to 100%) polyester, viscose and down feathers for our apparel and accessories ranges from responsible sources. Our footwear division also made good progress, with nearly all leather as well as paper and cardboard coming from responsible sources.
In addition to introducing more sustainable versions for our base materials, we increased the percentage of recycled polyester in apparel from 1% in 2019 to 18.7% in 2020 and have started to use recycled cotton (0.6%). In line with our circularity targets, we developed recycled options for leather, rubber, and nylon and trained our design and development teams on the principles of circularity.
The reduction of our carbon footprint due to the decrease in air-freight and employee business travel clearly can be attributed to the COVID-19 crisis. More importantly, we accelerated the transition to renewable energy: We leased the first six hydrogen cars for PUMA’s fleet, increased our own renewable electricity coverage to 100%, and assisted our suppliers with introducing on-site or off-site renewable energy. The base of our program has been secured and we hope to be able to expand it to meet our ambitious targets by 2025.
Last but not least, we are happy to report that the pandemic has caused the PUMA family to come even closer together. We look forward to a great 2021 and will keep working hard every day to continue our sustainability journey.