Cover Picture Credits: Conné/ PUMA
CALIFORNIA TRANSPARENCY ACT, AUSTRALIAN AND UK MODERN SLAVERY ACT STATEMENTS
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that over 40 million people are victims of modern slavery across the world. Modern slavery encompasses: human trafficking, slavery, servitude, forced and bonded labour as well as child labour. Modern slavery can affect anyone, regardless of their origin, age or gender. Poverty, discrimination and poor protection of vulnerable groups are factors that can lead to human slavery.
Our rules are clear: All modern forms of slavery are considered zero tolerance issues for PUMA, and embedding human rights one of our sustainability targets.
Therefore, PUMA engages with business partners who share our commitment to uphold the highest labor standards.
If you want to find out more about the steps PUMA has taken to ensure modern slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in its supply chain or its own business, have a look at our Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement or our Sustainability Reports.
Norwegian Transparency Act
The Norwegian Transparency act applies to larger enterprises that reside in and offer goods and services in Norway. According to the Transparency Act, a due diligence assessment must be done of the company’s supply chain.
You can download the results of the assessment carried out for PUMA Norway AS below in English and Norwegian.
As an accredited company of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), PUMA supports FLA’s letter shared in August 2023, together with other Multi-Stakeholders Initiatives, which appeals to the Chairman of the Minimum Wage Board to champion local union demands for increases in the minimum wage, which is currently well below the rising cost of living in Bangladesh.
PUMA recognizes that the current legal minimum wage in the Ready-Made Garment sector is significantly below a living wage, the same is reported in our 2022 annual report. “The payments in Bangladesh, despite being above industry average, fall well short of the Global Living Wage Coalition Benchmark and reached 70% of the Global Living Wage Coalition Benchmark (69% in 2020).”
As part of PUMAs efforts to ensure fair wage practices at the factories of our suppliers, PUMA has defined the failure to make a full payment of at least the minimum wage a zero-tolerance issue. This means that to become or remain active PUMA suppliers, companies must pay minimum wages in full compliance with local regulations. Provisions around the payment of overtime hours and social insurance are also clearly articulated in PUMA’s Code of Conduct and are scrutinized regularly based on our Compliance Audit.
At PUMA, we collect wage data annually from our core Tier 1 factories. We use the Fair Labor Association (FLA)’s Fair Compensation Dashboard to analyze wage data and to compare aggregated and anonymized data from industry peers and, where available, against living wage benchmarks of the Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC).
As a responsible business partner to our suppliers, we recognize that our own business practices, as well as our trading terms and conditions can have a significant impact on the organization at our suppliers’ factories. The aim of the PUMA Responsible Sourcing Policy is to reduce potential negative impacts. PUMA’s responsible purchasing practice policy was developed in 2019, to create a framework for guiding decisions and maintaining consistency through key principles including the price paid for product to include reasonable labor costs, such as overtime premium payments, social insurance payments and costs to comply with environmental standards.
We recognize the importance of freedom of association and collective bargaining as a key means through which employers, their organizations and trade unions can establish fair wages and working conditions. PUMA respects workers’ rights to Freedom of Association and collective bargaining and requires its suppliers to guarantee the right of their employees to join unions, or other work or industry related associations, and to bargain collectively. PUMA has taken multiple initiatives to ensure Freedom of Association in our supply chain.
PUMA is committed to keep sourcing in Bangladesh and continuing our partnerships with Bangladeshi suppliers in the future.
PUMA has no direct or indirect business relationship with any manufacturer or supplier of raw materials in Xinjiang.
Once we heard about the allegations from German TV show Panorama, we immediately launched an investigation.
Our supplier guaranteed to us, that the cotton used to make the products shown at the program originates from Brazil. In addition, we had the products in question tested by an independent laboratory, which was unable to determine the origin of the cotton with full certainty.
This is because whilst the present technology works well on single origin cotton, it cannot determine the exact origin when cotton from multiple origins is blended – which is common practice in yarn spinning. As a result, we have had on on-going due diligence program with our partner laboratory, where we currently test selected samples of finished garments before shipments on regular basis.
Based on all the information we gathered and the traceability and controls we have in place, we reiterate that PUMA does not have any business relationship with any suppliers in Xinjiang, and that we do not use any cotton from Xinjiang.
It has been the long-standing practice of PUMA to continuously and rigorously monitor our supply chain and conduct human rights due diligence on all of our suppliers globally, including those in major production hubs such as Vietnam, Bangladesh and China.
Compliance with human rights, labor rights and environmental standards is a top priority at PUMA and has been specified in our Codes of Conduct for over 20 years.
To implement our Code of Conduct, we maintain a team of 20 experts who regularly audit our suppliers around the world and train those suppliers via round tables in the purchasing regions on current sustainability issues. We also refer to audits conducted by independent third party auditors, which have particular expertise in this field.
Every manufacturer of PUMA has to go through a compliance audit for social and environmental standards before starting the business relationship. Only those manufacturers who pass this audit are included in our supplier base. After starting the business relationship, our manufacturers are checked annually for compliance with our standards; so they are re-audited every year.
If critical deviations from international social and environmental standards are found as part of these regular reviews, the manufacturer is asked to remedy them immediately. If a manufacturer repeatedly fails to comply with these requests, the business relationship may be terminated.
Our audit program for our manufacturers has existed since 1999 and was first accredited by the Fair Labor Association in 2007. The last accreditation was completed in 2019. This means that PUMA has kept demonstrating to have strong policies and practices in place to identify and remediate unfair labor practices in its global supply chain.
In order to check compliance with human rights at the second level of our supply chain, a few years ago we decided to include our most important manufacturers of materials and components in our audit program. The number of audits and factory grading that we perform is published annually in our sustainability report.
Another building block of our human rights policy is steadily increasing the proportion of materials from certified sources, such as cotton, polyester or leather. PUMA has been focusing on transparency of our work to respect Human Rights and the environment.
Our Annual Report includes a detailed sustainability section.
In March 2022, the workers of RA Intertrading denounced the alleged suspensions and dismissals of their colleagues at the company's Buenos Aires plant amid calls to improve salaries to meet the standard of living in Argentina.
RA Intertrading has been accused of maltreatment and threats against workers, as well as gender and labor violence. The company was also accused of increasing production objectives, which put the physical and mental health of workers at risk. Furthermore, workers have called for an end to alleged illegal anti-union attempts, following the dismissal of their two representatives and other workers in an attempt to suppress the right to organize.
Once PUMA learned about the situation, we immediately engaged with the factory management. A Collective Bargaining Agreement on a 48% salary increase was signed in April 2023 between the trade union and the factory management.
Most of the dismissed workers were either re-instated or reached an agreement with the management. A court case is still ongoing for two of them. We followed up with the re-instated worker and he is satisfied with the working conditions.
Through interviews with workers conducted by an independent third-party, we learned that there have been no cases of maltreatment, threats against workers, or gender and labor violence. There was still no sign of such behavior at the factory in early June 2023. The three union leaders representing R.A. workers confirmed there was no discrimination or intimidation against trade unions members.
Through a third party investigation, we could verify that production targets were reasonable to achieve, but the launch of a new style in a production line could initially slow down the production efficiency.
An audit was conducted at this factory in December 2022 and again in April 2023 and none of these findings were identified.
We will keep working with the factory to improve their grievance mechanism and social dialogue internally.