Target description:

  • Industry good practice for effluent treatment is met by 90% of core PUMA suppliers with wet-processing facilities
  • Industry good practice for air emissions is met by 90% of core PUMA suppliers with significant emissions
  • Reduce water consumption at PUMA core suppliers per pair or piece by 15% (based on 2020 baseline)
Relates to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 6, 14 and 15

Examples of the 10FOR25 action plan:

  • Ensure regular wastewater testing at relevant suppliers
  • Ensure regular air-quality assessments at relevant suppliers
  • Support the development of an industry-wide air quality standard


  • Percentage of core suppliers meeting good practice standards for wastewater
  • Percentage of core suppliers meeting good practice standards for air emissions
  • Percentage of water saved per pair/piece


In 2021 we developed a water roadmap and conducted a risk assessment using our risk assessment methodology.

In 2022 we added a water risk mapping for our own PUMA sites (offices, stores and logistic centers) globally. Using the WWF water risk filter, we identified 164 sites in areas of water scarcity. For the sites, we identified the water consumption and compared it to the water consumption of similar sites (offices, stores and warehouses separately assessed). We also published an environmental handbook for our own entities with recommendations for water-saving measures. During 2023 we will follow up with the identified sites and set a maximum water consumption target.

At our headquarters in Herzogenaurach, we collect rainwater on our property and use it in the office and the surrounding green area. This helps us reduce our freshwater consumption and water costs.

Most of the other PUMA operated sites globally are rented and both, rented as well as non rented, none of the sites do not use water for industrial processes. Therefore, our influence to reduce water consumption at our own sites is limited to using water-efficient kitchen equipment and sanitary facilities.

Water risk across PUMA’s supply chain was assessed referring to the WWF water stewardship: Basin Risk and Operational Risk. Basin Risk was analyzed by the WWF Water Risk Filter. As for the Operational Risk, it was based on the water management in Higg FEM water management 2020 by our core suppliers. Those scoring under 50% were ranked as having a high level of operational risk.

According to the analysis from WRI Aqueduct and WWF Water Risk Filter, some of our core suppliers in China, Vietnam and Bangladesh have some risks, such as flooding, poor water quality or water depletion.

Below are key focus areas for the coming years. The actions below indicated are a continuation of the ones started in 2021.

  • Raise awareness: We see the need to increase internal awareness and will develop e-learning courses on water for our staff. As a part of Higg FEM training, we have provided training to the suppliers on how to improve their score in the water and wastewater sections. The cleaner production programs such as Clean by Design (CbD) and PaCT provided support to suppliers to reduce water consumption for the selected core factories.
  • Knowledge of impact: We conducted a life cycle assessment of our top five products. Two LCA results are reported under the product section of this report. Also, in 2022 we conducted a comparative LCA of our RE:SUEDE sneaker compared to the conventional SUEDE. LCA studies evaluated blue water consumption, which represents surface water and ground water consumption in different lifecycle stages of products. As a part of Higg FEM self-assessment the core suppliers and selected non-core suppliers have conducted water risk assessments by using either the WRI Aqueduct Tool or the WWF Water Risk Filter.

DETOX.Live is a public disclosure platform operated by ZDHC, which has integrated the global facilities of wastewater testing, completed as per ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines. We will use the DETOX.Live platform to check the wastewater performance of new factories to know whether they have already implemented the ZDHC wastewater guidelines in 2023. After uploading test data to the ZDHC Gateway Wastewater Module, the performance results are shown in three different color codes. Green means a facility has met requirements, red means the facility did not meet the requirements, orange means that while requirements are not met, corrective action was taken.

PUMA has also adopted ELEVATE intelligence, or “EiQ”, a comprehensive suite of supply chain analytics, to:

  • Assess our supply chain risks by geography, commodity and issue
  • Complete a risk assessment for suppliers, factories and sites.
  • Manage risks that are material for each supplier, factory or site.

We will prioritize core suppliers for further action by using the Water Risk Analysis tool.

  • Internal action: We translated Higg FEM into a PUMA grading system to include our suppliers’ environmental performance in our vendor scorecard used by our sourcing leaders in the future. We will strengthen water data by increasing data collection frequency. We will keep our focus on increasing the use of recycled materials in our products. We will continue to enroll more factories in cleaner production programs to improve their water efficiency. We asked our core suppliers to set their own water reduction targets. Our material and development team continued their efforts to launch products with a lower water footprint. We created a tool for internal decision-making which compares the environmental impact of alternative materials. Our suppliers improved their efforts to recycle treated wastewater, process optimization, rainwater collection etc. to reduce the water footprint in the supply chain. Some of the case studies on implementation by our suppliers are presented in this report.
  • Collaboration and partnership: We will map further water governance in our key sourcing countries and conduct local key stakeholder mapping to explore opportunities for a collaborative approach. We continue to participate in industry-wide cleaner production projects, which include water efficiency measures, such as Clean by Design, the PaCT program in Bangladesh or water efficiency programs offered by the Fashion Pact.


Since 2015 we have increased the number of wastewater tests from 33 to 147 factories and in 2022 we received 283 wastewater tests. 94% of all factories with wet-processing facilities (156 factories have wet processes) have been covered by tests, and tests show that all these factories have at least 90% compliance with the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines (foundational level). Out of 147 supplier factories, 104 are fully compliant with all ZDHC Wastewater Guideline requirements. When a wastewater test fails, we support factories to conduct a wastewater and sludge root cause analysis and create corrective actions, using the industry standard template. In 2022, we followed up with those factories who failed to fully comply with the wastewater guideline, and we received seven corrective action plans. We will continue to follow up through 2023 to obtain corrective action plans and we will evaluate further measures that need to be taken. We will also follow up on their implementation through wastewater testing in 2023. In 2022 we partnered with an accredited third-party laboratory to organize training on chemical management and wastewater conformance as well as a root cause analysis and corrective actions for non-conformance. Case studies of conventional parameter failures have been used in the training.

The overall compliance rate for each category is:

  • Conventional wastewater parameters: 98%
  • Heavy metals: 99%
  • Restricted chemicals (MRSL): 99%

The overall compliance rate for heavy metals and restricted chemicals has increased by 1% in 2022 compared to 2021, while the compliance rate for conventional parameters has fallen by 1%. Nearly half of the factories that are in non-compliance with conventional parameters have recently joined the wastewater testing program. One third of these failures are related to the temperature of the wastewater.

143 out of 147 factories have a ZDHC ClearStream Report. ClearStream Report, an easy-to-read facility performance report of ZDHC wastewater conformance, is automatically generated on the ZDHC gateway platform. To obtain a ZDHC ClearStream report, the factories must conduct wastewater testing in accordance with ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines at one of ZDHC’s accepted laboratories, and all test results must be uploaded to the ZDHC gateway platform.

The test results confirm that priority hazardous chemicals have been phased out as planned. Regarding the conventional wastewater parameters that apply only to suppliers which discharge their wastewater directly into natural water bodies, in 2022 test results show 98% compliance with the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines (foundational level). Six parameters hit a 100% compliance level. This means we have achieved our wastewater target for the 10FOR25 cycle. Nevertheless, we will continue to work with our suppliers to reach 100% compliance for all parameters.

In 2023 we will continue to engage with manufacturers of PUMA goods in our wastewater testing scope in capacity-building activities and implementation. We will organize customized training sessions by ZDHC and ZDHC-approved third-party laboratories, by focusing on updates of the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines to version 2.1, root cause analyses, and corrective actions for non-conformance factories.

Antimony is exempt for mills that produce or dye polyester fabric because the antimony is used as catalyst for polyester production and its natural to have antimony in the wastewater. This is acceptable as per ZDHC guideline.

For Heavy metals and restricted chemicals parameters, the test results also show over 90% compliance for each parameter with the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines. This means we have achieved our wastewater target for 10FOR25 sustainability targets cycle. Nevertheless, we will continue to work with our suppliers to further improve the remaining non-compliance cases.



To help our suppliers better understand the requirements set by PUMA and the industry, we trained suppliers in standards, guidelines, tools as well as methodology for nonconformance investigation and remediation. Case studies of conventional parameter failures were used in the training.


Virtual training Topics Number of factories Number of participants
ZDHC Wastewater and Root Cause Analysis & Corrective Actions

Conducted six sessions in five different languages
ZDHC WW guidelines V 2.0 and implementation Root Cause Analysis & Corrective Actions for Non-conformance Wastewater 145 438

In 2022 we partnered with an accredited third-party laboratory to organize Wastewater Conformance Updates Training with a focus on chemical management. The training also included root cause analyses and region-specific corrective actions. Case studies of conventional parameter failures were used in the training.

A total of six training sessions were conducted in five different languages. More than 430 participants from 145 factories attended the training courses. More than 80% of participants were satisfied with the training arrangement and content.

The training helps the factories gain a better understanding of the updated ZDHC Wastewater Quality Guidelines, such as key updates and their relevant impact on their facility. It also explains when the new version will be implemented as well as how to do a wastewater root cause analysis and create corrective actions when there is a case of non-compliance.

After the training, the factories that have a case of non-compliance with the ZDHC Wastewater Quality Guidelines are required to do a wastewater root cause analysis and create corrective actions. We received seven corrective action plans from seven factories. We will follow up on their implementation with wastewater testing in 2023.

In addition, we also encouraged the suppliers’ chemical management teams to attend in-depth training courses as part of the ZDHC Academy, which are conducted by ZDHC-approved service providers.


In 2022 we expanded the participation of our Core Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers in cleaner production programs to improve energy and water efficiency.

Below are the annual savings from completed and ongoing projects from 2019 until the end of 2022:

  • Greenhouse gas reduction: 85,931 tCO2e per year
  • Renewable energy: 186 MWp of RE capacity (including offsite wind) added in 2021 and 2022
  • Water saving: 2,327,067 m3 per year
  • Energy saving: 164,483 MWh per year

Apart from our consistent improvement on supply chain water efficiency, we have set a target of 15% water efficiency (water consumption reduction per unit of products manufactured) in 2025 compared to the 2020 baseline.

Since 2020 our core Tier 1 apparel suppliers have been able to reduce the amount of water per piece by 17% and core Tier 1 footwear suppliers reduced water per pair by 36%, thereby exceeding our 2025 target 3 years ahead of schedule.

Since 2020 our core Tier 2 textile suppliers have been able to reduce the amount of water per ton by around 5% and core Tier 2 leather suppliers reduced water per square meter by 17%. While our core leather suppliers also hit our water efficiency target ahead of schedule, we will continue to work with our textile suppliers to close the gap.

For further data on water consumption, please refer to the Environmental Key Performance Indicator section of this report.


PUMA’s CDP water score improved from B- in 2021 to B in 2022.


In the water footprint reduction roadmap 2025, PUMA supply chains are an important part of this journey. Gain Lucky Vietnam is a fabric factory (under the Shenzhou group) that planned to install an in-house reverse osmosis (RO) membrane system with a designed capacity of 10,000 m3/day to treat wastewater and recycle it in their production processes. The RO system (phase 1 ~5000 m3/day) was installed in June 2022 and started trial operation in July 2022. This initiative has resulted in an estimated 12% annual reduction in freshwater consumption of the factory.

Being a Leather Working Group (LWG) Gold-rated and ISO 14001:2015-certified tannery in Vietnam, Hung Fu Leather has been working on improving its chemical & water use among other topics. In 2021 the factory needed 61.9 L water to produce 1 m2 of finished leather. In 2022 the factory set up an automatic water supply system to accurately control water used in coloring. This, together with adjusting the coloring recipe has helped reduce annual water usage by 5-10%. In addition, from April 2021, around 10-20% of wastewater has been recycled back into production.


In terms of air emissions, there are no significant air emissions to report from our own sites. We have outsourced all manufacturing to external manufacturing partners and at our largest sites globally we do not have any industrial processes which could create air emissions. The only exception is our own manufacturing site in Argentina, which is covered by our supply chain efforts listed below.

For our largest site, our global headquarters, we use district heating and heat pumps for heating, resulting in zero direct air emissions from the building. This fact was also confirmed during our ISO 14001 certification audit in 2022.

As the publication of the ZDHC Air Emission Guidelines has still not been finalized, we decided to internally monitor our core supply chain’s legal compliance regarding air emissions.

We designed a set of questionnaires to gather the relevant air emission compliance information on top of our online data collection campaign for our core factories (Tier 1 and Tier 2)*.

The result shows that 100% of the core factories sampled were compliant with the local regulation for air emission in 2022. We have evaluated compliance to air emission regulation for 108 out of 147 core factories.

We will join a ZDHC pilot project on air emissions in 2023. As a part of this project, we are in the process of selecting factories in collaboration with other brands.

This provision refers to local regulations, where samples are selected by the factories based on the requirements provided by the local environmental authorities.