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Sports apparel maker Puma is giving leather the boot.

After calculating the true, full end-to-end cost of including different materials in its products, Puma announced in June that it is phasing out leather from its products.

(I missed this news in the whole Rio+20 UN Sustainable Development conference media avalanche so I’m just catching up on it now.)

Puma is one of the few companies that has committed to publishing an environmental profit and loss statement. Its first report in November 2011 attaches monetary costs to the environmental impact of each step in its operations and supply chains.

To its credit, the company has decided that leather costs too much in environmental impact, so it won’t be used anymore.

Via ft.com:

Puma to kick leather into touch
Puma will have to stop using leather in its famous football boots and trainers because it is such an environmentally damaging product, the sportswear company’s executive chairman has said.

The measure showed the production and processing of raw materials was the biggest contributor to Puma’s environmental footprint, said Mr Zeitz, “with leather being the biggest impact driver”.

That is partly because cattle ranching soaks up water supplies and requires land to be cleared, which can affect plant and wildlife species, and also because of the chemicals and contaminants associated with leather tanneries.

But it’s important to remember that Puma isn’t really focused on “zero leather.”

Pulling leather out of the equation lets the company continue to produce goods, probably more goods, for increased revenues.

Just with a lighter carbon footprint overall.

As a society, in the pursuit of growth and enterprise, we as a society tend to go for “more.”

Reducing or ceasing consumption is not a popular topic of conversation, but it is an important one.

In the meantime, I think that efforts from companies like Puma to get to  “less” represent steps in the right direction to a more sustainable future.

London shows the world how to host a greener, more sustainable Olympics.

Via London2012.com:

Sustainability at the heart of the Games- ‘from brown to green’

From the outset of the project, the Olympic Park has set new standards in sustainability, including the delivery of lightweight venues, the recycling or reuse of waste materials, using concrete with a high recycled content, and delivering materials by rail or water. We have achieved new standards for a project of this size and scale and have raised the bar for the industry.

Via Environmental News Service:

London Olympics Clears Sustainability Hurdles

LONDON, UK, July 31, 2012 (ENS) – The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games has met the vast majority of its sustainability targets, says the United Nations official in charge of helping Olympic Games host cities produce events that protect the environment and make smart use of their resources.

Via TheTakeaway.org

London’s Temporary Olympic Stadium, Built for Change

The whole environmental sustainability agenda is incredibly important for these buildings,” [architect] Sheard says. Forty percent of the 80,000-seat venue’s concrete is recycled aggregate, and the stadium is one of the lightest of its size. “If you build less, you’ve got a smaller carbon footprint,” the architect says. Built with just over 10,000 tons of steel, the stadium is far lighter than similarly sized buildings, which normally require five to ten times as much.


“People who say it can’t be done should get out of the way of the people doing it.”

Global companies can and should do a better job of measuring and reducing their environmental impact.

For those who say it’s too hard or costly, Rob Bernard, Microsoft chief environmental strategist, says it can be done.

The IT giant has announced a major software deal to help track its environmental impact and drive down emissions and energy bills.

“What really interests me is how we can leverage IT to make savings,” he said. “Although as a society we’re still trying to figure out exactly how to do that.”

Via businessGreen:

Microsoft to track global footprint with CarbonSystems roll out