Puma overtakes competitors Adidas and Nike in race to drop toxic pollution

Press release - July 26, 2011
Quezon City/Beijing – Puma, the world’s third-largest sportswear brand, has responded to a Greenpeace challenge to ‘Detox’, by publicly committing to the elimination of all releases of hazardous chemicals from its entire product lifecycle, and across its global supply chain by 2020 [1], putting it firmly ahead of its competitors Nike and Adidas in the race for a toxic-free future.

Puma’s move comes less than two weeks after Greenpeace launched its “Dirty Laundry” report, which identifies commercial links between major clothing brands [2], including Nike, Adidas and Puma, and suppliers responsible for releasing hazardous and hormone-disrupting chemicals into China’s rivers [3].

“Round one of the Detox challenge goes to Puma – now Nike and Adidas better get in gear, or else risk falling behind in the race towards a toxic-free future,” said Beau Baconguis, Toxics Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “It’s not enough for Nike and Adidas to follow Puma’s lead – Greenpeace is calling on all three companies to show leadership by becoming more transparent about the hazardous chemicals currently released during the manufacture of their products”.

Puma’s statement incorporates many elements determined by Greenpeace as crucial to bringing about systematic change within the textile industry: a precautionary approach to chemicals management, a clear timeline for reaching zero discharge, and the elimination of all discharges of hazardous chemicals throughout its supply chain and product lifecycle – including those coming from polluting production activities such as wet processing [4]. Puma has also stated that it will publish an action plan within the next eight weeks, which will detail how it intends to deliver on its commitment. [5]

The Greenpeace “Detox” challenge continues to build momentum; on July 23rd, Filipino volunteers at the Pinyahan community basketball court in Quezon City joined more than 600 consumers and volunteers from 29 cities in 10 countries to set the record for the world’s largest simultaneous striptease [6]. Meanwhile thousands of people have added their names to an online petition that challenges the CEOs of Nike and Adidas to use their power and influence to tackle the urgent issue of toxic water pollution [7] and convert their words into actions.

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace is campaigning to stop industrial pollution of our water with hazardous, persistent and hormone-disrupting chemicals by demanding that companies and governments take action to “Detox” our future.

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Contacts:

Beau Baconguis, Toxics Campaigner, +63917 8715257, +63 2 3321807 loc 119,

JP Agcaoili, Media Campaigner, +63 917 631 2750, +63 2 3321807 loc 121,

Greenpeace Southeast Asia Picture Desk: Grace Duran-Cabus +63 917 8860662, +63 2 3321807 loc 118,

For video: Lucy Campbell-Jackson +31 634738790,

Notes to editor:

[1] http://safe.puma.com/us/en/

[2] Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Bauer Hockey, Calvin Klein, Converse, Cortefiel, H&M, Lacoste, Li Ning, Meters/bonwe, Nike, Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (PVH Corp), Puma and Youngor.

[3] A year-long Greenpeace investigation into toxic water pollution in China found links between a number of major clothing companies, 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 “Dirty Laundry” report visit: www.greenpeace.org/dirtylaundry

[4] The ‘wet processing’ of textiles, including dyeing, washing, printing and fabric finishing leads to the discharge of large quantities of wastewater containing toxic substances. For more information “Dirty Laundry” report page 24

[5] “An Action Plan will be set up by PUMA within eight weeks from the time this commitment was made." See statement at http://safe.puma.com/us/en/

[6] 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/

[7] To view the video and sign the petition please visit: www.greenpeace.org/detox

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