PUMA’s Response to the Report by ASPI
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.
When we became aware of the report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), we appreciated it as an opportunity to further review our supply chain. The investigations have revealed that the allegations concerning PUMA, as outlined in the “Uyghurs for Sale” report, are incorrect. PUMA is in no way involved in forced labor.
PUMA has no direct or indirect business relationship with any manufacturer in Xinjiang, the native region of the Uyghurs in Western 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 last year (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. In addition to 377 audits at our direct contractual partners or Tier 1 suppliers, we have also conducted 39 inspections at the so-called Tier 2 suppliers last year.
Another building block of our human rights policy is steadily increasing the proportion of materials from certified sources, such as cotton, polyester or leather. For example, last year we obtained 98% of our polyester, 98% of our leather and 82% of our cotton from certified, more sustainable sources like the Better Cotton Initiative or Bluesign. For the year 2020, we have asked all our suppliers to exclusively use Better Cotton Initiative cotton for PUMA production.
PUMA has been focusing on transparency of our work to respect Human Rights and the environment. We are, for example, listed in the top ten companies of the Fashion Revolution Transparency Index. We have also recently published our 2019 Annual Report which includes a detailed sustainability section.