Puma makes historic commitment to eliminate hazardous chemicals from its global supply chain

Greenpeace urges rivals Nike, Adidas and Li Ning to catch up in the race for a toxic-free future

Press release - 2011-07-27
Puma, the third largest sportswear company in the world, became the first company to publicly commit to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals from its entire product lifecycle and across its global supply chain by 2020 (1). The move comes less than two weeks after the launch of Greenpeace's “Dirty Laundry” report, which identified commercial links between a number of major clothing brands, including Nike, Adidas, Li Ning and Puma, and suppliers found to be releasing hazardous and hormone-disrupting chemicals into rivers in China (2).

“Greenpeace welcomes the vision and ambition shown by Puma with its commitment to work with suppliers to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their manufacturing processes and products within the next nine years,” said Li Yifang, Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace East Asia.

“Round one of the Detox challenge belongs to Puma, who has sent a clear message to its competitors that allowing suppliers to use and discharge hazardous chemicals is simply not acceptable,” continued Li Yifang.

The commitment made by Puma incorporates many of the elements outlined by Greenpeace as being crucial to systematically greening the textile industry, including a precautionary approach to chemicals management, and a clear timeline for eliminating all discharges of hazardous chemicals throughout the supply chain and product lifecycle – including those coming from polluting production activities such as wet processing. Puma has also committed to publishing an action plan within the next eight weeks (by the end of September 13), detailing how it will deliver its commitment. Greenpeace will be keeping a close eye on developments, as Puma still has room to improve by disclosing the hazardous chemicals being released by all of its suppliers.

“Nike and Adidas risk falling behind in the race to create a toxic-free future if they cannot convert their lofty claims of leadership into concise commitments and credible actions,” continued Li. “There is still an opportunity for them to demonstrate their champion-pedigree by taking the commitment from Puma to the next level and by providing greater transparency on the hazardous chemicals released during the production of their products,” she concluded.

Greenpeace volunteers surprise shoppers by performing a striptease outside the Adidas store in Beijing.

In the meantime, Greenpeace’s “Detox” challenge continues to build momentum. Last weekend, over 600 concerned consumers and volunteers – including nearly 40 volunteers in Beijing – joined Greenpeace activists in ten countries in an attempt to set the world’s largest simultaneous striptease and challenge Adidas, Nike and Li Ning to detox (3).  At the same time, online petition signatures have been piling up, urging the CEOs of Nike and Adidas to use their power and influence to tackle the urgent issue of toxic water pollution (4).

Notes to editor:

  1. Link to Puma statement: http://safe.puma.com/us/en/
  2. A year-long Greenpeace investigation into toxic water pollution in China found links between a number of major clothing brands, including Adidas and Nike, and suppliers in China who were found to be discharging persistent and bioaccumulative hormone disruptors into Chinese rivers. The findings from the research provide a snapshot of the kind of toxic chemicals that are being released by the textile industry into waterways all over the world, and are indicative of a much wider problem that is having serious and far-reaching consequences for people and wildlife. To read the executive summary or full “Dorty Laindry” report visit: www.greenpeace.org/dirtylaundry
  3. On Saturday 23rd July 2011 over 600 people in over 10 countries and 29 cities set the record for the world’s biggest coordinated striptease. For the full story and press release please visit: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/Worlds-largest-striptease-challenges-Adidas-and-Nike-to-Detox/
  4. To view the video and sign the petition please visit: www.greenpeace.org/detox

Media Contacts:

Emmy Yuanyuan Guan, Media Officer

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Video documentation of the event will be submitted to the team at Guinness World Records in the coming days for official acknowledgement. A video showing the global events will be released online early next week at: www.greenpeace.org/detox while a newsreel is available today

Full Report Download Link:

Chinese: http://www.greenpeace.org/china/publications/reports/toxics/2011/dirty-laundry/

English: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/reports/Dirty-Laundry/