German sportswear giant Puma may be shelling out six figures each to Rihanna and Kylie Jenner to help boost business, but it hasn’t forgotten about the people making its products.
The Kering-owned brand has teamed up with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and cloud-based network GT Nexus to roll out financing to its suppliers in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam.
According to a press release posted Thursday, the program will offer financial incentives for suppliers in these emerging markets to improve environmental, health and safety, and social standards.
IFC said it will adopt a structure with tiered pricing of short-term working capital that will offer low-cost loans to those suppliers that rank high as adhering to Puma’s social and environmental standards. These scores will be assigned after an auditing process.
“This financing program enables our suppliers to leverage their relationship with us and benefit from Puma’s strong reputation and financial position,” Lars Soerensen, the brand’s chief operating officer, said. “This is the first program in our company that rewards a supplier’s rating within Puma’s environmental and sustainability program through related fees.”
Sérgio Pimenta, IFC’s director of manufacturing, agribusiness and services, continued, “This agreement with Puma advances IFC’s efforts to encourage small and medium companies such as Puma’s suppliers to improve environmental and social sustainability while achieving strong financial results.”
The first supplier to join the program is Ball Planet, a small and medium enterprise with production facilities in China that supplies soccer balls to Puma.
“We are keen to start using this financing facility, since access to affordable financing is always a challenge. This innovative program will not only help us improve our cash flow, but… will ultimately reduce our operating costs and enhance our performance,” Ken Hong, Ball Planet general manager, shared.
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