By: Michelle Nguyen
Founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler, PUMA became its own entity after splitting from Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik, a company that was co-owned by Rudolf and his brother Adolf, who turned the other half of the company into Adidas. Today, PUMA is one of the most well-known brand names in the sport shoe industry thanks to the talent of its leadership.
In 1993, Jochen Zeitz joined PUMA as CEO, becoming one of the youngest CEOs in German history to head a public company at the age of 30. In 2008, he developed PUMAVision – a program dedicated to contributing to the betterment of the world. In 2010, PUMA, led by Zeitz, partnered with FuseProject, an industrial design and branding firm founded in 1999 by Yves Béhar, a renowned industrial designer, to find a way to reduce its carbon “paw-print.” Béhar’s innovative designs have earned more than 150 awards and he has worked with countless companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, Adidas, and Samsung. Between Zeitz and Béhar, the “Clever Little Bag” was born.
The “Clever Little Bag” was created after of 21 months of research on ways to reduce the environmental impact of cardboard boxes and their ultimate destination, generally over-burdened landfills. “Clever Little Bag” uses 65% less cardboard than a regular cardboard box which reduces space and waste. This allows more objects to be shipped at one time. The bag has no lamination, printing, or assembly, making it easier for reuse. Instead of being stitched by heat, the bag is made of non-woven polyester (polypropylene) and can be recycled. The bag can also be used for shoe storage, an added perk when traveling. Thanks to the creation of the “Clever Little Bag,” PUMA and FuseProject have helped save 8,500 tons of paper, 20 million mega joules of electricity, 1 million liters of fuel oil and 1 million liters of water. During transport, 500,000 liters of diesel have been saved because more products can be loaded, reducing the amount of trips needed to deliver the shoes. Finally, with the purchase of Puma shoe wear, approximately 275 tons plastic has been saved, since “Clever Little Bag” removes the need for traditional shopping bags.
Because of a passion for the environment and his drive for innovation, Zeitz has left PUMA to lead a project known as B Team, along with many other prominent entrepreneurs and global leaders. Their mission is “to help develop a ‘Plan B’ that puts people and planet alongside profit.” B Team is not only backed by Kering/PUMAVision, but also by other leaders such as The Rockefeller Foundation, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and Virgin Unite. Although Zeitz may have left PUMA, he continues to have their full support. His legacy is a great program that enables PUMA to continue to positively impact the environment. PUMA continues to find ways to lessen industrial impact on the environment. Its latest packaging invention is the “Clever Little Shopper,” a bag that is made out of cornstarch and 100% bio-degradable. The bag decomposes naturally within three months or in three minutes when put into water. Between these two “clever” packaging inventions, PUMA continues to reduce theirs and your “pawprint” on the environment.
Michelle Nguyen is a Junior at Memorial High School. She speaks English and Vietnamese fluently and is currently learning Spanish and French. Michelle is part of the International Club and Explore’s Program, a program that allows students to learn and experience different international careers at MHS. In the next two years, Michelle hopes to attend college in Texas. She plans on majoring in Business.