After more than ten years of successful implementation of its social and environmental standards (puma.safe) and the introduction of its company initiative PUMAVision last year, PUMA launched the next pivotal phase of its ambitious long-term sustainability program on Tuesday at the Design Museum in London. By introducing its cutting-edge sustainable packaging and distribution system by renowned industrial designer Yves Behar, PUMA will set new standards within the Sportlifestyle retail industry. The new innovative solution will significantly reduce the amount of waste and CO2 emissions that traditional product packaging such as shoe-boxes and apparel polyethylene bags generate and underpins PUMA's target of reducing carbon, energy, water, and waste by 25%, and developing 50% of its international product collections in footwear, apparel and accessories according to best practice sustainability standards by 2015.
PUMA partnered with designer Yves Behar, of San Francisco based fuseproject, to rethink the way the millions of pairs of shoes that it sells each year are packaged -- less packaging means fewer raw materials, less use of water and energy to produce, and less weight to ship and to be disposed of. Behar designed a "Clever Little Bag" to replace the cardboard shoebox with a re-usable shoe bag, that protects each pair of shoes from damage from the point it leaves the factory until the consumer takes it home -- thus generating savings on the production side due to less material used, reducing weight during transport and eliminating the need for extra plastic carrier bags. As a result of the 65% paper reduction through the "Clever Little Bag" concept PUMA will reduce water, energy and diesel consumption on the manufacturing level by more than 60% per year. In other words: approximately 8,500 tons less paper will be consumed, 20 million Megajoules of electricity saved, 1 million litres less of fuel oil used and 1 million litres of water saved. During transport 500,000 litres of diesel is saved and lastly, due to the replacement of traditional shopping bags with the lighter built-in bag the difference in weight can save up to 275 tons of plastic.
"I was excited to partner with PUMA and contribute to such a game changing project," said Yves Behar. "PUMA's initiative to look closely at one of the most challenging issues facing the retail industry in regards to sustainability and environmental harm was inspirational. In changing the packaging and distribution life cycle from the ground up, we hope our new design and comprehensive solution encourages other retail companies to follow suit."
PUMA's apparel collections will be bagged using sustainable material, replacing traditional polyethylene bags. This means that 720 tons of polyethylene bags can be avoided per year, which equals a saving of 29 million plastic bags -- enough to cover an area the size of 1000 football pitches. Furthermore, PUMA T-shirts will be folded one more time to reduce the packaging size and thus saving CO2 emissions and costs during transport.
By switching out current plastic and paper shopping bags in PUMA stores and replacing them with sustainable biodegradable bags the sportlifestyle company is looking to save another 192 tons of plastic and 293 tons of paper annually.