Archive for November, 2010

Making a Difference, In Good Company

Last month, Timberland employees Courtney Baumann and Sandy McDowell joined a team of other corporate volunteers for a week-long community service sabbatical in West Oakland, CA.  We’re pleased to be able to share Courtney’s final reflections and photos from the experience below.

I can’t express how grateful I am to Timberland for choosing me to attend the sabbatical in West Oakland. I was truly moved by the experience. Before I left, I was asked what I hoped to accomplish by going on the “trip,” and I stated that I wanted to add value to humanity, restore my perception of society and overcome challenges. I most definitely accomplished all of these things. I came back with a renewed sense of self and proud of the people I had met and the things we managed to achieve.

Courtney and Sandy

I knew it was going to be a good week, when Thao, one of the Clif Bar peeps who coordinated this whole event, picked me up at the airport. Of course nothing goes to plan, and everyone’s flights ran late — and I mean everyone! But I called when I landed and she burst out laughing, stating that she would be around in a bit, and that she had a funny hat on, which would make it easy to recognize. That cheerful attitude followed us around all week. Although many things did not go to plan, there was never a moment when it seemed Temra or Jennifer (Clif Bar) gave up or got discouraged. They just kept trucking along, making arrangements, and making it work. From rainy weather dampening our mural walk and halting our bike ride, loss of electric power in half of West Oakland, to rearranging our duties to make sure that every day, every project was adequately covered. I was lucky enough to see the City Slickers chicken coop project through from start to finish, and that meant a lot to me. Starting from scratch and then seeing the joy on a little boy’s face as he gets to see a chicken for the first time, just made it all worthwhile.

Chickens!

The entire week was so inspiring. There are so many people out there willing to make a difference, and many people that need our help. Since we’ve returned, City Slickers has received a $4 million grant to buy a parcel of land to aid in more urban farming. This shows how much of an impact a few organizations can have on a community.

Urban farming at its best

Throughout the week, all of the companies participating shared what they are doing to make it better for their employees and the planet. Timberland is not the only one who takes care of their employees and it means that we really might be able to change the world! Attendees included: Clif Bar (the spearhead of In Good Company), Annie’s, Eileen Fisher, States Logistics, Kaia Foods, QBP, Stonyfield Farm, New Belgium Breweries, Seventh Generation, Effects Marketing, and of course, Timberland. Support these companies wherever you can, because they are paving the way for a new way of thinking about the corporate world. They are all producing quality products with the environment in mind. We are part of a community of companies that care about social, environmental, and food justice.

A few final thoughts and observations: I’ve discovered that there are all sorts of foods that I haven’t tried yet, and will probably like.  I never knew I could go on that little sleep and still be happy to wake up in the morning. And my Timberland waterproof jacket and boots really are waterproof. They came in handy more than I ever realized they would.

Courtney




Giving Thanks

In honor of Thanksgiving, we asked some of our Bootmaker Bloggers to share what they’re most thankful for.  Enjoy, and then please share: what are you giving thanks for this year?

I am thankful for the start of scuba-diving. This past weekend, I finished open water scuba-diving lessons. I realized how beautiful is the underwater and the damages caused by human beings… although the temperature was quite low, I enjoyed it very much! I would like to say thanks to my coach and diving buddies! Maldives, I am coming!! – Sam

I am thankful for the awareness that the world is full of wonder and awe, and that it is my responsibility to put in, not just take out.  – Jeff

I’m thankful for drive-thru coffee joints especially on really cold, snowy mornings when I’m craving a pumpkin latte but I’m SO not getting out of my car. I’m thankful for the “12 items or less” check-out lines at any store, particularly over crowded grocery stores on Sunday afternoons. I’m thankful for all day Law & Order marathons when I’m home sick or just avoiding my weekend chores.  I’m thankful for email, online ordering, e-banking, driving directions websites (because I get lost going anywhere) and even those pesky social networking sites. And lastly for this year’s list, I add remote controls of any kind … when I can find them. PS – I would be thankful for a remote control car starter if I had one. Hint hint.  – Sarah

I am thankful for great family and all the simple things in life.  – Heather

I’m thankful for the mountains that already have a few trails open for skiing – it’s that time of year!  – Amanda

I am thankful for Thursday and Friday off, and that I don’t care about Christmas shopping.  – Robin

I’m thankful for my wonderful family who provide unconditional love – no matter what; great friends – some of which have been in my life for over 25 years; traveling to foreign countries and seeing what lies outside of New England, and Tripoli pizza – the pizza of the Gods!  – Alyssa

Do you know Steamboat’s gotten 74” of snow so far this season? I’m thankful for that. And bundling into my SmartWool layers, puffy jacket, boots, hat, gloves, and neck gaiter to attend my dog as he romps through the snow mandatorily three times a day? That too. Along with those, I give thanks for my wood burning stove, my YakTrax (the bruise on my butt gives a shout out, too), and managers moving powder morning meetings to the ski mountain.  – Regan

I’m thankful for the Global Stewards who volunteer, above and beyond their regular job responsibilities, to drive our service events and CSR agenda worldwide.  They make such a difference by reaching out to employees in local language to engage them in their communities.  I’m also thankful for my family who remind me to pause and enjoy the moments I have with them.  – Atlanta

I’m thankful the mountains are starting to open!  – Devon

Green Gift Monday

‘Tis the season to be shopping … and The Nature Conservancy is encouraging holiday shoppers to be more environmentally-responsible this year by proclaiming next Monday, November 29th “Green Gift Monday.”

The idea is to direct some of the considerable energy (and money) that many of us spend on holiday shopping toward choosing gifts that are environmentally-efficient, responsible and meaningful (Timberland Earthkeepers boots made with recycled materials, for example).  For inspiration, check out these green gift giving ideas from our friends at The Daily Green, blissmo, and Treehugger.

The Nature Conservancy’s website is chock full of additional gift giving ideas, as well as information and inspiration for making the rest of your holiday season green.

Have other thoughts on how to make your holidays more meaningful and less environmentally-impactful?  Share them with us here.

When Pink Sandals Pass for Glass Slippers

This past spring, I received a special request from Chelsea Thom, a photographer I knew through our May Earthkeepers Indie Artist, Chad Hollister. Chelsea was looking for children’s shoes to bring with her to the children of Africa. In Africa, many kids do not receive shoes until they are 5 or 6 years old and wearing them can help prevent horrible, disfiguring diseases like podoconiosis. As a member of Timberland’s Values Marketing team, I send product donations out from time to time, and of course agreed to help Chelsea find some shoes.

With the help of Amy Kennison from Timberland’s Kids Footwear department, we were able to gather a box of about 25 pairs of girls and boys shoes and sandals to send to the children. That may not sound like much, but getting shoes to Africa is not so easy. Chelsea could only take as many pairs as she could fit in her suitcase, and with some effort, she managed to fit them all.

It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you’re helping complete strangers, which I had experienced when I sent apparel to Haiti. After packing up the box and sending it on it’s way to Chelsea, I started to think about the difference that these shoes might make for some child I’ll never meet. Would they smile or laugh when they put them on? Would the shoes fit?

When Chelsea returned from her trip, she sent me an email with a link to some of her photos, and for the first time since I started working at Timberland, I was able to see the faces of the individuals actually wearing our donated products. Chelsea shared the story of her travels with me, which led her to Kenya, where she ended up donating the shoes to local school children with the help of Comfort the Children International. Chelsea told me that the most memorable part of the shoe donation occurred while she was putting shoes on the feet of a girl who was nervous that they wouldn’t fit. After struggling to put them on, Chelsea fastened the shoes to the little girl’s feet – a perfect fit. Chelsea then told the girl, who now had a very large smile on her face, “You’re just like Cinderella.” Of course this child did not know who Cinderella was, but nevertheless it prompted a grin.

Here are some photos taken by Chelsea of the Kenyan children wearing their brand new Timberland shoes.  Photo credit www.chelseadee.com

Rocking Beijing

As a salute to the growing number of real-life Earthkeeper heroes among us and to promote environmental awareness, Timberland hosted a carbon-neutral concert in Beijing last week featuring Wang Leehom — a musician, actor and environmental activist.

How do you make a concert carbon neutral?  By encouraging concert-goers to carpool or take public transit, for starters.  The event also utilized plenty of recycled and recyclable materials (from biodegradable wristbands to “cocktail tables” made out of stacks of car tires), energy-efficient lighting and locally-sourced and organic refreshments.  Timberland also purchased offsets from the China Beijing Environmental Exchange.

You can read more about the concert in this Wall St. Journal story.  And who knows?  Maybe the “Fellowship of Earthkeepers” concert tour will be rolling through your city in the future …

Networking in New Hampshire: NHBSR Event

Attention New Hampshire readers: NH Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) is hosting their annual member social at the end of the month, and you’re invited to attend:

NHBSR’s Member Social
Tuesday, November 30th, 5p-8p
Brady Sullivan Plaza, 1000 Elm Street, Manchester

NHBSR’s focus is on building and supporting a network of businesses (such as Timberland) committed to adopting socially-responsible business practices.  And as an ever-growing number of businesses are discovering the integral link between social responsibility and the bottom line, organizations like NHBSR are more important than ever.

This annual event will attract 100+ business professionals and promises to deliver valuable education, networking and promotional opportunities.  And if that’s not enough, the evening will include delicious food and locally-made beer and wine.

For more information and to register for the event, click here.

Another Day at Timberland

Warm and sunny memories to help get us through a rainy, blustery mid-November day in New Hampshire …

A hot July sun blazed down on the gang of Timberland employees making the sweltering 1.2 mile trek to a local middle school that graciously offered to host the company’s Q2 Rally. The scene, to onlookers, most likely resembled that of herd migrations seen on the Discovery Channel.

Muggy air sat heavy atop the wafting chatter as they happily racked up step counts on their pedometers. Undoubtedly for some, the walk helped them to pull ahead in the most current step challenge in which they’ll be awarded health miles and the ever so coveted bragging rights. As always in the Timberland world, the challenges are friendly, but there is no dismissing the fact that Timberlanders boast a competitive streak.

Conversation topics tangled around each other making them impossible to decipher but no doubt somewhere amongst the crowd there were discussions of upcoming service events, sharing of most recent kayaking or bike riding adventures, and exchanges of green living ideas. All of them being a central part of daily Timberland life.

Whether the choice to walk was made with a workout in mind, or as an opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint, the crowd collectively lived up to the nature of the Timberland brand and strapped on their boots … Errrr, sandals and flip flops, and communed with the outdoor world.

Ride On, Bryan (but get some new boots first)

We get a lot of feedback from our customers … some good, plenty bad, every once in a while, ugly.  In the spirit of sharing All Things Timberland here on our new Bootmakers Blog, we’ll be sharing these customer stories from time to time.  (Yes, even the bad and ugly ones as long as they’re obscenity-free.)  Enjoy – and feel free to submit your own Timberland product stories and comments.  We just might use them!

This one came from Bryan “lucky foot” in Virginia:

I was involved in a motorcycle accident while wearing my Timberland hiking boots. I had an older gentleman pull out in front of me. The bike was totaled during the accident. The main injury that I had was to my right foot. The running board on the bike was bent upwards, folded in half and then ripped off the motorcycle.

After being rushed to the hospital, my foot was found to have been smashed and a hole was blown in the back of the heel the size of a quarter from the pressure exerted from the foot being crushed. The doctors and lawyer attribute my not having any broken bones in the foot to the boots I was wearing. When the lawyer took a look at the bike, he stated that I am lucky to just have a foot and that he had seen (similar accidents) where individuals’ feet were just severed off. I give the boot all of the credit and a little luck and even if the boots did not survive the accident, my foot did.

Thanks for producing such a quality product. Ride on.

Bryan

Serving Those Who Serve Us

In honor of the men and women that serve our country, we’re proud to announce the launch of Timberland’s military discount program.  Effective today, military personnel will receive 20% off their entire purchase in Timberland stores (with a valid military ID).  The military discount can be combined with other coupon and discount offers.

Happy Veterans Day, and happy shopping.

Help Us Plant an Additional 1 Million Trees in Haiti

Are you excited about planting trees? We certainly are. So much so that in addition to the real trees we’re planting around the world, we’ve launched a new Timberland Earthkeepers Virtual Forest application on Facebook.  By creating their own individual virtual forests and inviting friends to plant trees in them, members of the Facebook  community are helping to get real trees planted in Haiti. So far, as a result of the Facebook community’s adoption of the application, which was launched in October, 1,762 real trees will be planted in Haiti

If you haven’t checked it out already, go ahead and do so. By either planting trees in already existing virtual forests or by creating your own forest, you can help Timberland plant an additional 1 million real trees in Haiti.  It’s that simple. The more virtual trees and virtual forests, the more real trees we’ll plant in Haiti (up to 1 million) – above and beyond the ones we’re already planting there. Create a forest and invite your friends to do the same and then plant trees in each other’s forests too. Nature will thank you. Haiti will thank you and Timberland will thank you by planting more trees. And while you’re there, check out the videos that chronicle our projects in Haiti and share them with your friends. Then, share your ideas with other virtual tree planters from all around the world on the CONVERSATION tab.

We’re also working on some updates to the Virtual Forest, so stay tuned for those changes at the beginning of December.

And if you like the app, please nominate us for Most Creative Social Good Campaign for the Mashable Awards. Helping to spread the word about the Virtual Forest throughout the social media community equals more application users, which leads to more virtual trees, which means more real trees planted in Haiti. Let’s get to 1 million!