GERMANY: Puma seeks lower taxes on synthetics in green push
Puma chairman Jochen Zeitz has called on governments to reduce import duties on synthetic materials in an effort to to encourage companies to switch to making greener shoes and clothing.
The call came as the PPR-owned sportswear brand revealed its Product Environmental Profit and Loss analysis found that the environmental impact of its biodegradable InCycle Basket shoe was 31% less than its conventionally manufactured Puma Suede shoe.
However, the EUR95 (US$123) price of the Incycle Basket was EUR10 higher than the conventionally manufactured shoe, partly because import duties on the biodegradable plastic used in it were much higher than for less environmentally friendly leather.
Zeitz called on governments to "start supporting companies to use more sustainable materials in their products instead of continuing with antiquated incentives, such as import duties on synthetic materials that are in principle much higher compared with those placed on leather goods regardless of the environmental footprint".
He said that if Puma switched all of its key suede footwear styles from being made of leather to being made from a high-end sustainable recycled material, Puma would face "additional costs of at least EUR3.4m in duty rates a year".
The company's product environmental profit and loss account is working to help the company understand whether its efforts to be more a more sustainable company and develop more sustainable products are making a positive difference.
The company said that its biodegradable InCycle T-Shirt also generates a 31% lower environmental cost, through the use of organic cotton, and because it is 100% compostable at the end of life. It also causes 26% less environmental cost from waste due to the more sustainable packaging it is wrapped in, as well as because it is not dyed.
"Just as the calorie and nutrition information table on your cereal box helps you compare the dietary impacts of one breakfast choice to another, our new Puma Product E P&L helps you to judge whether one shoe or shirt is more environmentally-friendly than another," said Zeitz.
"Our job is not only to lessen the impact our products have on the environment, but also to engage our customers and help them make better and more sustainable choices for the benefit of our planet."
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