Athletic footwear, apparel, and accessories company PUMA announced today a new commitment to source all bovine leather from verified deforestation-free supply chains.
A recent report released by the UN-backed Race to Zero found that deforestation attributable to companies with land-based value chains, particularly in the forest, land and agriculture sectors, is responsible for a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The sectors contribute 22% of global emissions, half of which are driven by deforestation.
Earlier this year, the European Parliament passed a new law mandating companies to guarantee that their products sold in the EU do not contribute to deforestation and forest degradation in their supply chains.
The new commitment was announced with the company signing up to the Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather, an initiative by Textile Exchange and Leather Working Group, which aims to create equitable, transparent, and deforestation-free leather supply chains, while protecting wildlife, biodiversity, carbon stocks, and human rights.
The initiative asks brands to commit to sourcing their bovine leather from deforestation/conversion-free supply chains by 2030 or earlier, and set requirements for participating brands including working with farmers and farming supply chains to set requirements for deforestation-free sourcing, setting and meeting targets for mapping supply chains and identifying risk levels, making investments to increase the supply of traceable, deforestation and conversion-free leather, implement a traceability system, commit to respecting human rights across the supply chain, and reporting on progress.
PUMA highlighted one of its key challenges to ensuring deforestation-free sourcing, with suede representing half of the leather used by the company. The company said that suede presents traceability challenges at the cattle ranch level, with most suede tanneries working with agents and intermediaries besides direct tanneries to guarantee a stable supply.
Veronique Rochet, Senior Head of Sustainability, PUMA, said:
“This deforestation-free commitment also directly supports one of PUMA’s 10FOR25 sustainability targets dedicated to reducing our impact on biodiversity. To help the protection of endangered forests and species, PUMA also commits to not using any wood or wood-derived fabrics made from ancient and endangered forests.”