WWD.com/business-news/designer-luxury/ppr-widens-environmental-accounting-5373040/
government-trade
government-trade

PPR Touts Environmental Impact Results

French retail-to-luxury firm shared Puma's first environmental profit and loss account and said it would extend the reporting practice to all brands by 2015.

PARIS — French retail-to-luxury firm PPR on Wednesday unveiled the first complete annual environmental profit and loss account for its sporting goods brand Puma, and said it would extend the reporting practice to all its luxury and sport and lifestyle brands by 2015.

The move is part of the “PPR Home” sustainability initiative launched in March by PPR chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault and the group’s chief sustainability officer Jochen Zeitz.

“A group EP&L represents our collective commitment to reinforce and strengthen PPR’s businesses for the long run,” stated Pinault.

Puma’s first EP&L account, which was spearheaded by Zeitz in his final phase as the brand’s ceo, valued the environmental impact of its operations and supply chain across five key areas in 2010 at 145 million euros, or $192.5 million at average exchange rates for the period. The areas covered in the analysis are: greenhouse gas emissions, water use, land use, air pollution and waste. Zeitz said that various firms and governments approached Puma to find out more about the project, after it presented the first stage of the report in May.

He added that although it was too early to set any targets for Puma’s EP&L for the future, the balance sheet was invaluable in the corporate decision-making process.

“Corporate social responsibility is very nice on paper, but how are you going to manage it if you don’t have the tools?” he said. “I believe the EP&L is an incredible, powerful tool. On one page, you know your environmental footprint — from tier 1 to 4, every key driver — and as a ceo it’s actually quite easy to say where the angle of attack is and where we need to find solutions.”

He pointed out that Puma’s supply chain was responsible for 94 percent of its total environmental impact, with its core operations — such as offices, stores, warehouses and logistics — only accounting for 6 percent. This should point the way for PPR’s other brands, which range from luxury houses Gucci, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, to sports action brand Volcom.

PPR plans to hire additional staff for its PPR Home team, including an energy management specialist charged with finding opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It has also hired a conservation and ecosystem services specialist to help formulate definitions of sustainable cotton and rubber, and develop internal standards for their sourcing.

Although PPR’s Stella McCartney brand has never used leather, due to the staunch animal rights convictions of its namesake designer, Zeitz said leather, cotton and rubber would continue to play an important role in the group, which derives a large portion of its revenues from accessories such as designer handbags and shoes. “The quest is to make these materials more sustainable,” he added.

PPR developed the Puma EP&L with professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and environmental data experts Trucost, but Zeitz said the data would probably be certified in the future. It claims that it is the first company to implement the practice and would like to see it spread.

“This will be our ultimate goal, to go beyond our own four walls, or in our case 16 brands, and encourage industry-wide adoption,” Zeitz said.

PPR Home expects to publish its first targets and outcomes in October. These will integrate and expand upon the first targets published by PPR in June 2010 as part of its corporate social responsibility drive.