Puma to Publish Profit-and-Loss Statement for Eco-Impacts

Puma to Publish Profit-and-Loss Statement for Eco-Impacts

Puma sign - CC license by gingerbydesign/Flickr

Puma is in the midst of better understanding its effects on the environment by putting a dollar value on it impacts on nature.

As an outgrowth of the PPR HOME initiative by Puma's parent company, PPR Group, the shoe and sportswear company is measuring its use of ecosystems and plans to determine its economic impact on ecosystem services, which is basically anything that nature provides: clean water, crops, soil formation, wildlife habitat, protection from storms, and more.

Puma is looking at both the impact of its direct operations and its supply chain, and plans to issue an environmental profit and loss statement based on its findings. The company commissioned the help of Trucost and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Because the concept of ecosystem services covers such a wide swath, investigating one's impacts on ecosystems and also tying a value to those impacts poses a huge challenge to companies, especially for those that are already struggling with getting greenhouse gas emission data from their suppliers.

The benefits to companies, though, can be just as big as the undertaking needed to measure them. A company can be better positioned to alter its most damaging work and even improve other aspects of its supply chain to boost the value of ecosystems it operates in. Such work can also ensure a company secures access to the services it needs — like clean water — for years to come.

Earlier this year, Dow Chemical Company partnered with The Nature Conservancy to link the value of nature's services to its business decisions and strategies. Devoting $10 million to the effort, Dow even plans to publicly share information from the process and create tools for other companies to use.

And just this month, after Puma announced its ecosystem service plans, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development released a guide to help companies make business decisions with their ecosystem impacts in mind.

The PPR Home effort has also developed the Creative Sustainability Lab, a partnership with McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC). The lab will focus on creating products in line with the Cradle to Cradle methodology's key points: safe materials, reusing materials (eliminating waste), using renewable energy, maximizing water quality and social responsibility.

The PPR Group, also parent to Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other luxury brands, is dedicating €10 million ($14.5 million) annually to the PPR HOME effort.

Puma sign - CC license by gingerbydesign/Flickr