Leading sports lifestyle firm Puma is all set to open its first sustainable (read green) standalone store in Bangalore as a part of a global initiative.
“This is Puma’s first such store in the world. We are starting the project with India and depending on its success, will replicate it in other countries,” said Rajiv Mehta, Managing Director, Puma.
He added that Puma’s Indian arm, in 2010, had won the global PPR Innovation and Sustainable Development Award for a project to build an energy-efficient, eco-designed store. After bagging the award, India was chosen as the destination.
The Bangalore store has incorporated several elements of sustainability such as solar PV panels installed on the roof to generate electrical power, an air tunnel for cooling, use of shoe cartons-cum-carry bags and the use of organic cotton for apparels. The surface layout of the store has been designed in a way to ensure optimum use of daylight.
Mehta added that the company would soon be launching its winter collection apparels made of organic cotton. Noting that these initiatives would not only help mitigate costs and risks, he said it would also help grow the business.
Also, material utilised in the store is to be locally sourced and recycled. The company has also partnered with installation artists from the city to create art from using waste material.
Asked whether the company would convert all its existing stores into green stores, Mehta said the company might look at constructing new stores rather than renovating the current ones.
However, without disclosing the number of green stores the company plans to construct going ahead, Mehta said the focus would be on metros and tier-II cities.
“Mall owners in India have started the green initiative a year ago and retailers appear to be following suit. They are doing this from various standpoints. Several retailers are already chalking out plans to go the green way,” said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers’ Association of India.
From charging for carrier bags to installing less harmful refrigeration systems, retailers are improving their green credentials to appeal to environmentally aware consumers, he added.
Meanwhile, mall developers such as Oberoi and Inorbit have also started looking at this aspect and are building malls that are more energy and water efficient.
Globally, wholesale retailers such as Walmart and Tesco are very focussed on energy efficiency such as LED lighting in refrigerated cabinets and zero-carbon store programmes.