International sporting goods manufacturer Puma has announced that it will one day stop using leather for its athletic shoes and soccer boots because of its disastrous environmental impact.
Mr. Zeitz is widely regarded as a trailblazer in the business world due to his concern for the environment. He has not only drastically reduced his own personal meat consumption, he has introduced Meatfree Mondays into Puma’s offices. “We should eat less meat, all of us, and we should use less leather, I mean that’s reality. We all know that cattle and beef are among the biggest contributors to carbon emissions.”
Following an “environmental profit and loss account” assessment of Puma last year, Zeitz determined that leather was “the biggest impact driver” contributing to Puma’s carbon footprint. This is partly because cattle ranches require land to be cleared for cattle and soak up water supplies, which affects plant and wildlife habitats. It is also because of the often toxic contaminants and chemicals used in leather tanneries.
The seemingly oxymoronic environmental businessman says this necessitates a need for high-quality, economic leather substitutes. “It may sound crazy,” Zeitz said, “but maybe there’s an economic way of producing a leather-like product in the laboratory.”
What do you think of Puma’s leather-free projections?