Archive for May, 2008

Earth Day in Italy

We just heard from our colleagues in Italy regarding their Earth Day activities and had to share their story:
A very early start the one of timberland earth day in april 22. the meeting point was timberland office at 7.45am where we collected all the instruments for work: pickaxe, shovel, sickle, baskets, shear, rakes, gloves and the unfailing yellow boots!! all wearing our timberland earth day t-shirt we left for casei gerola, an exploited area 40km from milan. Our commitment this time was to clear the area from rubbish, dry and infesting vegetation, prepare the soil for greening and plantation, fix dustbins, resting benches and picnic tables as to rend the area available and welcoming to people to enjoy. The day was cloudy, the soil was hard and roads muddy but we were so full of enthusiasm that nothing could stop us. We worked till 5pm when exhausted we left, but not without taking a picture of the whole team and resting on the benches we had just fixed…just to be sure to did a proper job ;-) Partner of the day: legambiente, the most widespread environmental organization in italy counting more than 110.000 members. A powerful partner able to add more value to our effort. Media were stimulated for the day: we had some newspapers’ dedicated articles, some quotations and a whole national TV troupe coming on the spot filming our work and interviewing us as a living proof of a better world, where brands that can make it better exist!

Thoughts on the Ceres conference

Last week, I attended the Ceres conference in Boston, Massachusetts (“The annual Ceres conference is a unique gathering of corporate, environmental, investor, governance, and labor leaders who share a collective vision of sustainability and capital markets functioning side by side”). I have a very high bar for the conferences I attend, and this makes the top three. The networking is genuine and I always learn more than I bargained for.

Some highlights:

A panel with current and former executive leadership of BP and Shell agreeing that climate change is an issue that needs to be dealt with, only differing on how they were going to do it. They both say that company profits fund alternative energy research, so I look forward to hearing about the developments of those investments at subsequent conferences — and ideally sooner.

A closing panel on the economic impact of climate change that included Van Jones, the Founder and President of Green for All a non-profit dedicated to building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Van was so charismatic, poised and on-point that he elicited applause after almost everyone of his comments. He was so good, in fact, that I didn’t even feel compelled to tell you that Theodore Roosevelt IV and Chip Giller of Grist were also on the panel. And they too were excellent.

What felt different about this conference was that there seems to be a palpable shift to issue identification and value creation. There was less finger-pointing and more collaboration and discussion of important issues with the intention of real results. It’s a good sign and I, for one, look forward to it.

Alex Hausman
Corporate Social Responsibility
The Timberland Company

Earthkeepers in Action

This Earth Day, Timberland announced a global commitment to green 300 communities in the next two years, and to plant one million trees by 2010. Timberland hopes to inspire and engage one million Earthkeepers. Click below to hear Timberland CEO Jeff Swartz describe his vision of what it means to be an EarthKeeper and see how EarthKeepers are making a difference.