Puma may have stood out as the first sports company to build a carbon neutral headquarters, complete with solar grid, but when it comes to adapting this standard to its global operations, collaboration may be key.
Since 2019, the German athletic company has been working to meet 10 key objectives, in accordance with the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by 2025. With its 10FOR25 initiative, a part of the company’s Forever Better campaign, Puma lays out sustainability targets that range from human rights and fair wages to circularity and climate; including science-based goals for reducing carbon emissions.
A 2021 Business and Sustainability Report reveals that while 95 percent of Puma’s manufacturing facilities are located in Asia, the $6 billion dollar company works with 134 suppliers from 27 countries around the globe. Monitoring CO2 emissions and energy consumption from core suppliers has allowed Puma to stay “on track” with its climate commitments. The company recently reported a reduction of 88 percent of its corporate carbon emissions, as well as 12 percent from its supply chain between 2017 and 2021– all while seeing sales soar 30 percent above pre-pandemic levels. It’s also taken steps to decarbonize in Bangladesh, a key sourcing country.
Despite these wins, Puma’s leadership admits that more collaboration is needed to expedite global climate goals within shared supply chains—where more than 90 percent of Puma’s carbon footprint is currently being generated. Puma’s chief sourcing officer, Anne-Laure Descours, says that making the company’s supply chain more responsive to changing consumer needs, while addressing climate change, is something that cannot be achieved alone.
“By joining forces with like-minded companies, we can scale and accelerate our combined positive impact and live up to our mission to be forever better,” she said.
This ‘combined positive impact’ is the objective of Puma’s recent membership with Zero100, a community-based research platform founded in 2021 to create 100 percent digital supply chains at zero percent carbon.
Backed by a robust advisory board of thought leaders from powerhouses like Asos, Maersk, Nike, Flexport, New Balance and Google, Zero100 provides an opportunity for operations managers to pursue environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments by applying technology to “reinvent the production, distribution and consumption of physical goods for customers and the planet.” Members can get insights from industry experts, access in-depth reports, and attend innovative events all while making connections to help accelerate progress for supply chain and operations priorities that are aligned with a new ‘climate era’.
“Innovating to achieve more equitable and agile supply chains is a challenge that, when overcome, will generate positive impact on a global scale,” said Zero100 CEO Olly Sloboda.
Companies across the fashion spectrum are working to curb their emissions. Allbirds is known for decarbonizing in part by slapping a carbon tax on itself. And late last year, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition formed a new initiative to help the industry rein in its sprawling carbon footprint. Still, the sector has its work cut out for it if it wants to meet the targets laid out in the Paris Agreement, according to research published last fall.