To reduce waste and keep products out of landfills, the Sportlifestyle company PUMA has installed recycling bins in PUMA Stores and outlets in South Africa for customers to return used shoes, clothing and accessories of any brand.
The PUMA “Bring Me Back” program, which is run in cooperation with global recycling company I:CO, aims at encouraging the recycling and re-usability of sportlifestyle products among consumers by providing a convenient and simple process where consumers bring used shoes, clothing and accessories from any manufacturer to a PUMA Store and deposit them in the designated Bring Me Back bins. The used products are then sent off to be re-used or recycled. This means they are re-used, where they are still in suitable condition, broken down and re-used to create raw materials, or recycled into new products. With this new initiative PUMA helps to protect the environment, aspiring to eliminate waste by recycling used products to create new ones. This effort is one more step forward toward the long-term goal of transitioning to a closed cycle loop for materials usage.
“As part of our mission to become the most desirable and sustainable Sportlifestyle company in the world, we are constantly working on solutions that aim at reducing the environmental impact that PUMA as a company leaves behind on our planet,” said Franz Koch, CEO of PUMA. “With our Bring Me Back program, we are pleased to target, for the first time ever, the massive amounts of waste sportlifestyle products leave behind at their end-of-life phase when consumers dispose them and they end up on landfills or in waste incineration plants.”
PUMA has implemented several initiatives and programs within its long-term sustainability program that foresees a reduction of 25% of carbon emissions, energy, water and waste in PUMA offices, stores, warehouses and direct supplier factories by 2015. With the innovative packaging system Clever Little Bag, that PUMA introduced in 2010 and that replaced traditional shoeboxes, the company already reached a milestone in reducing PUMA’s – and its consumers’ – environmental footprint significantly by saving more than 60% of paper and water annually.
In 2011, PUMA published the first-ever Environmental Profit and Loss Account that assessed and valued the environmental impacts of the company’s core operations (PUMA offices, stores and warehouses) and along its entire supply chain of production factories – from the level of raw material production to the final manufacturing of PUMA products. This analysis helped PUMA to determine the impacts that arise from the point of cotton or leather production to the point where PUMA products are sold in a PUMA store. However, a considerable part of PUMA’s environmental footprint comes about through the consumer disposal phase. The Bring Me Back program now addresses PUMA’s impact at that level, reducing the waste generation of sportlifestyle products.
The program furthermore sets the foundation for an initiative on products which are designed for recycling as PUMA is currently looking into solutions to develop recyclable or decompostable products. PUMA’s entire team is also working on achieving the company’s goal of having 50% of the international collections made of more sustainable materials by 2015. In 2011, about 16% of PUMA’s total apparel products were made of more sustainable materials such as recycled polyester, organic cotton and Cotton Made in Africa, proving that the company is right on track to reach this target.
Bring Me Back launches this week in Johannesburg at PUMA’s Fourways, Maponya Mall, Retail Crossing, Woodmead, Worldwear, Braamfontein and Palms stores, in Pretoria at the Kolonnade store and in Cape Town at the Canal Walk, Access Park and V&A stores. The program is launching in a number of PUMA markets worldwide in October, with a full global roll-out slated for January 2013.
More information can be obtained at: www.puma.com/bringmeback