Sporting goods giant Puma said it is introducing a cutting-edge sustainable packaging and distribution system designed by San Francisco-based industrial designer Yves Behar, as part of its long-term 360 sustainability program. Rolling out in the second half of 2011, the new reusable shoe bags will significantly reduce the amount of waste and CO2 emissions resulting from traditional product packaging such as shoe boxes and apparel polyethylene bags. The move will also help Puma reach its target of reducing carbon, energy, water and waste by 25% and developing 50% of its footwear, apparel and accessories collections according to best practice sustainability standards by 2015. Said Behar: “Puma’s initiative to look closely at one of the most challenging issues facing the retail industry in regards to sustainability and environmental harm was inspirational. In changing the packaging and distribution life cycle from the ground up, we hope our new design and comprehensive solution encourages other retail companies to follow suit.” In switching out current plastic and paper bags in Puma stores alone, the company said it could save another 192 tons of plastic and 23 tons of paper annually.

—Tim Yap