PARIS — PPR-owned sportswear firm Puma has begun using “environmental profit and loss accounting” for its products, translating their environmental impact into a figure in euros and cents.
It found that the environmental “costs” of its forthcoming InCycle Basket biodegradable shoes and organic cotton T-shirt were both 31 percent lower than those of its standard suede sneakers and T-shirts, notably due to raw material use and biodegradability at the end of their useful life.
It is the first time that the firm has used such accounting measures for its products, although Puma began assessing its environmental impact on a corporate level in a similar way last year.
The company decided to assess the performance of specific products after its first analysis last year, based on 2010 data, revealed that 57 percent of the firm’s environmental impact stemmed from the production of the raw materials it used, notably leather, cotton and rubber.
“We have to steadily increase the share of sustainable materials in our collections so that we mitigate not only Puma’s but also our consumers’ environmental footprint,” Puma chairman Jochen Zeitz stated.
As such, in partnership with PPR’s sustainability department PPR Home as well as external consulting firms Trucost and PwC, Puma tested the environmental impact of products in its new InCycle collection, to launch in February 2013, comparing their performance with that of its standard products.
Puma found that the conventional shoe, for example, had environmental costs of 4.29 euros, or $5.59 at current exchange, compared with 2.95 euros, or $3.84, for the InCycle Basket model, despite the price differential for consumers being only 12 percent.
“We do not expect our customers to absorb the costs of these impacts, but we believe it is necessary to make their extent clear for consumers,” Puma stated.