Following the publication of their ‘environmental profit and loss account’ last year which valued the environmental impact of its operations and supply chain at €145m Puma are now keen to find alternative materials to leather according to a recent interview.

The measure showed the production and processing of raw materials was the biggest contributor to Puma’s environmental footprint, said Zeitz in an interview with the Financial Times, ‘with leather being the biggest impact driver’.

That is partly because cattle ranching uses 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 tanneries.

Puma, who actively part of the Leather Working Group, outlined their profit and loss account at a recent BLC organised conference in Hong Kong last March source leather for a wide number of their product range, especially footwear. The company made sales worth €821 in the first quarter of 2012.

However, it appears that the Zeitz wants to go a step further. ‘We should eat less meat, all of us, and we should use less leather, I mean that’s reality’, he said in the FT interview which took place at the UN Rio+20 summit in Brazil.

He has also been quoted as saying; ‘It may sound crazy, but maybe there’s an economic way of producing a leather-like product in the laboratory’.