Capacity Building

Our capacity building programs and projects intent to strengthen the knowledge, abilities, skills and behavior of our suppliers. We employ a strategic approach to address issues of non-compliance with our Code of Conduct found among suppliers, implementing top-down as well as bottom-up social and environmental capacity building projects at key points in our supply chain. 

The Better Work Factory Service Model

PUMA factories that are enrolled in the ILO/ IFC Better Work Programme, go through a process of learning that includes assessments, advisory services, industry seminars and training.

Areas covered in Better Work assessments and learning include child labour, discrimination, forced labour, freedom of association, collective bargaining and national labour law regulations on compensation, contract and workplace relations, occupational safety and health, working hours and more.

The conditions and improvements in each Better Work factory are assessed by Better Work’s enterprise advisors based on the Compliance Assessment Tool (CAT).

In 2016, all Better Work factories could use up to 25 participant days of training per service cycle at no additional charge. The factory could determine which training courses they wanted to attend based on prioritized areas of improvement and availability of topics.

To further understand the impact of its work, the Better Work Programme commissioned Tufts University to conduct an independent impact assessment. 

Key findings and the full assessment report can be found here.

Women Empowerment

Since 2008 more than 5000 factory workers have been involved in women empowerment and human rights capacity building projects organized by PUMA in Turkey, Georgia and Egypt. We are currently working on several projects in collaboration with different local NGOs to support female workers in our supplier’s factories. One of the project outcomes is the development of a pocket guide specifically focusing on domestic violence and the protection of women. This guide is distributed by our suppliers to female employees and new hires to ensure a long-lasting effect. Furthermore, we initiated monthly workshops in factories on human and women’s rights that are conducted by local NGO representatives and free for workers to join. On top of that, PUMA suppliers in Georgia and Turkey became signatory companies of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which is an initiative of UN Women and UN Global Compact, to support companies in reviewing existing policies and practices, or establishing new ones, to realize women’s empowerment.

Apart from that, PUMA also works with women organizations and labor rights groups in El Salvador to facilitate child care access and reduce violence against women.

Syrian Refugees in Turkey

We collaborate and work with several brands, the Fair Labor Association (FLA), United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and relevant local authorities to remediate living and working conditions of refugees in Turkey. 

As of January 2016, the Syrian refugees have been officially allowed to work in Turkey. PUMA has been one of the brands, which collaborated and worked with the relevant stakeholders to implement work permits for the Syrian refugees. Furthermore, PUMA has collaborated with the Ministry of Labour (MoL) of Turkey, the FLA, the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and other brands to develop a specific pocket-guide for the Syrian refugees to guide them at work-life.

PUMA encourages its suppliers in Turkey to offer 2 to 3 percent of their jobs to Syrian refugees, and some of the suppliers have already started to employ Syrian refugees with official work permits.

We have also organized workshops with the FLA for our suppliers to prevent any kind of illegal refugee employment.

The FLA’s Fair Compensation Strategy

In its Code of Conduct PUMA has embedded a written commitment to the payment of fair wages. The FLA Fair Compensation strategy, launched in February 2015, which is a multi-year project with three phases, is designed to help FLA-affiliated companies, including PUMA, to operationalize their Code of Conduct commitment to fair compensation, and provide clear and transparent mechanisms for the FLA to hold companies accountable. The Fair Compensation plan adopted in February 2015 can be found here.

Freedom of Association Protocol in Indonesia

The Freedom of Association Protocol supports the rights of women and men producing for global brands in Indonesia to join unions and bargain collectively for better working conditions making a change. On June 7th 2011 an historic protocol on freedom of association was signed by Indonesian trade unions, employers and multinational sportswear brands including PUMA. The Freedom of Association protocol gives companies a practical set of guidelines on how to uphold and respect the rights of workers to join together to achieve decent pay and better working conditions.

Since its signature, PUMA remains active serving on the National Committee to oversee the continued growth of more mature industrial relations within its supply chain.

Discussion is underway to use the experience as a model for other industries, as only wide-reaching peaceful relations can ensure a stable manufacturing environment.

More information can be found here.