Oliver Balch explores some of the assumptions and shortcomings behind Puma's environmental profit and loss announcement.

This article titled “Puma’s environmental profit and loss – does it live up to the hype?” was written by Oliver Balch for the Guardian Professional Network, for guardian.co.uk on Friday 10th June 2011 16.27 UTC

An accountant, the old adage runs, is someone who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing. Following the recent publication by German sports giant Puma of an “environmental P&L”, the saying might need some refreshing.

Puma’s bold step adds a previously unquantified cost into the bean-counting equation – namely, that of a company’s footprint on the planet. The bottom-line result comes in at a very precise €94.4m (£82.6m) per year.

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