2022 saw several success stories for PUMA’s sustainability performance. We were ranked first in the Business of Fashion Sustainability ranking, achieved the highest apparel and footwear score on the platform on living wage financials benchmarking and were added to the CDP A list of companies with leading climate disclosures. We also received a Sustainability Leadership Award from Footwear News America.
These achievements must be set in a context where the apparel and footwear industry is placed under increased scrutiny by civil society organizations and where the sustainability of the business model of fashion, with its inherent growth and abundance is questioned.
Against this background, we continued the execution of our Forever Better sustainability strategy and our 10FOR25 sustainability targets.
Many of these targets, which we set in 2019, are already achieved or close to being achieved. For example, nearly 100% of the cotton, leather and cardboard used for PUMA’s products and packaging are now originating from preferred and more sustainable sources such as BCI cotton, LWG leather or FSC-certified paper. Nearly half of all polyester we use globally is now from recycled feedstocks.
We continue to source 100% renewable electricity for our own entities and have started the transition of our car fleet to electric cars at scale.
To decarbonize our logistics footprint, we saw the first ever electric truck operating for PUMA and agreed with our main logistics service provider to trial low-carbon shipments for sea freight from our major sourcing countries in Asia to Europe.
We also made some significant progress with the payment of living wages for our own employees and the employees at some of our suppliers, and recorded over 140,000 supplier and PUMA employees trained in women’s empowerment.
On the other hand, we realized that our previous climate targets were not ambitious enough to support a 1.5-degree pathway and therefore set new climate targets.
For some major materials used for PUMA products, such as polyurethane, EVA or rubber, we are still at the beginning of the transition to more sustainable material versions, and the significant decarbonization efforts of our supply chain partners could not compensate the strong growth of PUMA in 2022. Consequently, we recorded an increase in Scope 3 emissions rather than the decrease required to support our new 1.5 degree-aligned target.
Another sad setback was the first fatal accidents at our manufacturing partners since several years. Despite a strong focus on health and safety from both PUMA and our suppliers, two employees of PUMA vendors lost their life in two tragic accidents.
We will use these accidents as a reminder to further strengthen our efforts to ensure a safe working environment for all employees manufacturing PUMA goods around the world and have decided to certify our own health and safety management system according to ISO 45001.
In terms of stakeholder outreach, we conducted our first ever Conference of the People and invited Generation Z representatives as well as industry peers to talk about their expectations for PUMA’s sustainability journey.
During the conference we learned that our sustainability language is very technical and complex. Therefore, we will prepare a consumer-facing summary document of this sustainability section to convey the main messages to a wider audience.
Finally, we saw the launch of the RE:SUEDE and RE:JERSEY initiatives as first outcomes of our circularity lab. These products, although still not commercially available, showcase our vision for a more circular product portfolio in the future.
We know we still have a long way to go on our sustainability journey and we will continue to execute our sustainability strategy step by step.
For 2023 we plan a new materiality assessment, which will lead us into our 20th anniversary of our first stakeholder dialog in 2003. From there we will begin to shape our sustainability strategy beyond 2025 and towards 2030.
There is only one Forever – Let’s Make it Better.