Archive for April, 2012

Have You Planted a Tree Today?

Because today is Arbor Day, which is all about honoring and celebrating trees.  And we can’t imagine a more appropriate way to show our appreciation for trees than by planting MORE of them.

It’s not too late, and you don’t even have to get up from your computer to do your part: just click over to the Hortiscope quiz on Timberland’s Facebook page.  If you take the quiz, we’ll plant a tree for you in Haiti.  Simple as that!  And in the process of taking the Hortiscope and finding out what tree best matches your personality, you’ll also find out more about the real trees we’re planting through our sustainable agroforestry program in Haiti.

You might say the Hortiscope has a personality of its own — fun and frivolous, but with a serious, responsible side.  The trees we’ll plant for Hortiscope takers will benefit volunteer farmers in Haiti; these farmers receive the necessary tools and training through our agroforestry program to run our nurseries, grow and sell crops and trees, and help rebuild their communities and their environment.   See for yourself:

To learn more about Timberland’s longstanding commitment to reforestation, visit our tree planting page.  Happy Arbor Day!

Take the Climate Counts i2 Challenge

Climate Counts is a non-profit campaign that scores companies annually on the basis of their voluntary action to reverse climate change. The Climate Counts scorecard helps people vote with their dollars by making climate-conscious purchasing and investing choices that drive the world’s most well-known companies to take the issue of climate change seriously.

Timberland is proud to be a member of the Climate Counts Industry Innovators program (i2) — an initiative which has helped to make the Climate Counts scorecard available and useful to many more companies.  Along with other i2 companies (Amtrak, Ben & Jerry’s, Clif Bar, REI and Shaklee), Timberland supports the Climate Counts mission of educating consumers while holding our brand and our business to the highest standard of climate leadership.  In fact, Timberland received the highest score in the apparel / accessories category (86 points out of 100) from Climate Counts for our commitment to fighting global warming!

Now it’s your turn to show your support for i2 companies and climate consciousness by taking the Climate Counts i2 Challenge:

  • Snap a photo of yourself, supporting one of the i2 companies.  The photo could be you wearing Timberland Earthkeepers boots, riding on the Amtrak, eating Ben & Jerry’s … you get the idea.
  • Email the photo with a brief description to Climate Counts (info@climatecounts.org) with “Climate Counts i2 Challenge” in the subject line.
  • Don’t be late: all photo submissions must be received by Tuesday, May 1.

All photos will be compiled and added to the Climate Counts Facebook page and blog; the coolest photo will win a $50 gift card to the i2 company of your choice!

You can read more about Climate Counts and the i2 program on their website.  To learn more about the ways in which Timberland is working to reduce its climate impact, check out our Responsibility site.

Timberland Releases 2011 CSR Performance

Last week, Timberland announced progress against our annual corporate social responsibility goals.  Detailed information about our 2011 results can be found on our Responsibility site; highlights of our progress in 2011 include the following:

  • Product: Innovate Cradle-to-Cradle Design

Timberland experienced continued growth of Earthkeepers® – our most eco-conscious line, now comprising one-third of total sales.  Earthkeepers® products best represent our use of environmentally preferred materials – such as recycled, organic or renewable materials – and this is driving improvements across all product lines.   In fact, for the 58.6% of footwear we measured in 2011, over half the materials were recycled, organic or renewable.

  • Service: Engage Employees

2011 produced our best employee participation rates ever in the Path of ServiceTM employee volunteer program, which celebrates its twentieth year in 2012.  We’re proud to have met our Hours Utilization Rate goal of 42%, which measures total volunteer hours used vs. available Path of Service hours.  In total, our employees served more than 92,600 hours this year.

  • Climate: Protect the Outdoors

Our greenhouse gas emissions increased by 4.5% over 2010. While we didn’t meet our 2011 target, this is still a positive achievement in a year of strong business growth. The emissions increase was primarily due to increased air travel by employees; in 2012, we will experiment with carbon budgeting to alleviate emissions increases from air travel.  In addition, we met our industry-leading 2011 goal to source 15 percent of energy from renewable sources.

  • Factories: Improve Workers’ Lives

Global factory performance remained relatively static in 2011, with continuing business partners showing slightly improved performance. We were challenged to meet our 2011 target for factories’ environmental performance, as measured by the Global Social Compliance Program. In 2012, Timberland will promote the benefits achieved by those factories that did meet its target to demonstrate financial incentives to other suppliers.

To learn more about our 2011 results and to compare them to our bold 2015 CSR goals, go to the Goals & Progress section of our website.

We’re proud to continue our commitment to transparency and accountability by disclosing this information. How are we doing?  Let us know your thoughts about our performance at csrinfo@timberland.com.

It’s Arbor Day:Unleash Your Inner Lisina

Not to worry, this is a family blog.  And a Lisina is a tree that helps to produce sustainable charcoal in Haiti, where people depend on fuel wood and charcoal for cooking and heating.  It’s one of several tree species we’re growing in Haiti as part of Timberland’s sustainable agroforestry program there, which has resulted in 1.4 million trees planted to date.

We’re working on adding another 100,000 trees to that tally, and you can help:  In honor of Arbor Day (that’s this Friday, tree fans), we’re asking Facebook users to check out Timberland’s Hortiscope — a quiz which matches your personality with the tree in Haiti that’s most like you.  And if it wasn’t rewarding enough to learn whether you resemble a Benzoliv (caring and selfless) or a Kasya (trustworthy and practical), there’s more:  For every completed Hortsicope quiz, Timberland will plant a tree in Haiti.

Click, learn, plant.  What better way to celebrate Arbor Day?

Once you’ve become acquainted with your true tree personality, you can learn more about our global commitment to reforestation in the Tree Planting section of our website.  And to read more about Timberland’s Arbor Day campaign, check out our Newsroom.

Three Reasons Why We Love Earth Day

What’s to love about a day of community service in honor of Earth Day?

#1.  POWER TOOLS

#2. PAINT

#3.  WHEELBARROWS

We also love mulch, rakes, hammers and all sorts of other toys of the great outdoors we don’t get to play with during the course of a normal business day.

Timberland volunteers were not the only ones to get out and celebrate Earth Day this week – it looks like our West Coast colleagues at The North Face, lucy and JanSport had a great day doing good work, too:

Yes, it was a lot of fun – and incredibly meaningful for the local community and environmental organizations who benefited from our efforts.  Thanks to the Timberland and VF volunteers who took time out this week to make a difference in their world; the sore muscles and sunburned arms were well worth it.

We Say Deering, You’ll Say Darling

Because they are really just the cutest boat shoes going, don’t you think?

And if cute isn’t enough, our Deering Boat Ballerinas are part of our Earthkeepers collection — Timberland’s most eco-minded product assortment.  Here’s our women’s footwear designer Erin to tell us more about how eco-consciousness plays a role in the design and development of Timberland products:

From 100% recycled PET laces and linings to recycled rubber outsoles to leather sourced from tanneries rated Silver for their energy, waste and water practices, the Deering was made with the environment — and your summertime outdoor adventures — in mind.

And in a bouquet of bright colors, the Deering Boat Ballerina was made with the rest of your wardrobe in mind, too; shop for your favorite flavor now. To learn more about our use of  eco-conscious materials, check out the Timberland Technology Guide.

Lace ‘Em Up and Move ‘Em Out: It’s Earth Day!

Okay – so technically Earth Day isn’t until April 22, but why wait?  We’re an outdoors brand that cares an awful lot about the environment (it is, after all, our playground), and we’re headed out a few days early to give it some extra TLC.

If you’re thinking that Earth Day service isn’t for you because it’s too unsavory (think smelly roadside trash pickup) or too episodic (you clean up smelly roadside trash today, only to find more in its place tomorrow), here are some examples of the kinds of things our Timberland team around the globe will be doing this week – and month – to celebrate Earth Day and support the notion of environmental sustainability:

  • Getting rid of bad seeds: At Pasir Ris Park in Singapore, volunteers from Timberland’s Asian Headquarters will remove invasive species, including Pong Pong fruits and ferns, to help preserve an area of mangrove trees.
  • Educating future environmentalists: In Milan Italy, Timberland volunteers will partner with Legambiente to teach 200+ children about the importance of respecting the environment.  The students will have an opportunity to put learning into practice as they remove graffiti, plant trees and create a botanical garden.
  • Making greater use of the great outdoors: In a local community in our own home state of New Hampshire, volunteers will help to transform overgrown and under-utilized conservation land into a public park with areas for playing and picnicing, as well as a trail network.

And, we’re spreading the love.  This is Timberland’s first Earth Day as a member of the VF Corporation family, and we’re beyond excited to have several of our “siblings” joining in our longstanding tradition of community service.  San Francisco-area employees from The North Face, JanSport and lucy will be volunteering this week for the Alameda Point Collaborative, an organization that provides transitional housing for formerly homeless people and families.  And further south, our colleagues at Vans, Reef and Eagle Creek are planning their own Earth Day service celebrations as well.

All told, we’ve got more than 3,500 volunteers doing their part to revitalize nearly 150 communities around the world. That’s a lot of boots on the ground doing a lot of good hard work for our dear Mother Earth.

Stay tuned!  We’ll be sharing photos, video and Earth Day event recaps here on the Bootmakers Blog.  Want to get in on the action?  Visit Earth Day Network’s website to find out about Earth Day events in your area.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation

Every four years the greatest sailors in the world compete for glory – and this year, Timberland is going along for the sail as the sponsor of the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation. Between races, we sat down with three members of the team so we could get to know them a little better:

Onan Barreiros

1.  The most incredible place Onan Barreiros has ever sailed is the Bahamas.
2.  If he wasn’t sailing, Onan would be playing football.
3.  His second favorite outdoor activity is road biking.

Federico Alonso

4. Federico Alonso isn’t superstitious, but he always sails the day before a championship starts.
5. If Federico had to give his boat a name, it would be Miura (that’s what he called his first wooden boat).
6. Even sailors get seasick. He’s been sick on a boat and knows it’s a pretty nasty feeling!

Aaron Sarmiento

7.  When Aaron Sarmiento isn’t on the water, he likes to bike, run and play tennis.
8.  If Aaron wasn’t a sailor, he’d like to be a professor.
9.  He started sailing when he was 11 years old!

And the #10 thing you might not know about the Spanish sailors is that they all consider good grip one of the most essential features in their footwear.  It’s a good thing they’re wearing Timberland Formentor boat shoes with Gripstick rubber to keep them on deck and on course.

The Royal Spanish Sailing Federation knows the no. 1 rule to looking good on a boat (and winning the race) is staying on the boat.  Follow in their slip-free footsteps and get your own pair of Formentors by shopping our boat shoe collection.

If Frogger Wore Boat Shoes, He’d Play This Game

Stay on the boat! That’s the idea behind the Timberland game of the same name, in which you have to navigate one seriously crowded waterway and make it to your team’s boat before time runs out. To play, you’ll need:

  1. Nerves of steel
  2. Lightning-fast reflexes
  3. A pair of virtual Timberland Formentor boat shoes

Then, you’re ready to try your luck at leaping and lunging across kayaks, rafts and sailboats without falling into the shark-infested water.  Along the way, we’ll even give you the chance to collect eco-tips you can use to reduce your own environmental footprint.

All aboard – you’ll find the Stay on the Boat challenge and other fun stuff on the Games page of our website.  And if you really want to get in the game, check out the shoes, jackets and bags in our Formentor Collection.

Evaluating our Code of Conduct Program

Timberland prides itself on a long-standing Code of Conduct program. Over the years, we’ve shifted our work in factories to expand beyond basic compliance, trained our assessment team to incorporate workers’ voices, and helped factory management build better management systems.  We include environmental and social/labor conditions in our assessments, and go beyond factory walls to assess whether workers are able to meet their basic needs. We rely on partnerships with stakeholder groups and standards bodies to vet our approach against best-in-class training programs, processes for corrective action plans, and mechanisms for worker empowerment. We don’t have all the answers, but we know that giving workers a voice is critical for leveraging our business to create improved working conditions and quality of life.

So, how are we doing?

In 2010, Timberland commissioned Social Accountability International (SAI) to review whether our Code of Conduct program is implemented in the field as designed. SAI is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to advance the rights of workers around the world. As a Corporate Member of SAI, we share their mission to improve working conditions in our or supply chain in accordance with relevant ILO conventions and national law. We asked SAI to validate our program’s capability of achieving our objectives, including a review of our team’s necessary skills to be effective.

SAI’s comprehensive assessment concluded that there are key areas of our Code of Conduct program that are working well, producing positive results and even “best practice.”  SAI also uncovered a number of areas for improvement and opportunities for us to mitigate potential risks and improve the impact of our Code of Conduct program.  You can read more about SAI’s detailed findings and recommendations on the Responsibility section of our website.

Overall, the Timberland Code of Conduct program is extremely sophisticated in its design and places Timberland among the leaders in the field.

- Craig Moss, project lead and SAI’s Director of Corporate Programs and Training

SAI’s thoroughness enabled this process to truly validate our program’s capability and effectiveness.  We look forward to continued partnership with SAI as we continue to work to create real improvements in our supply chain.

Ensuring that the thousands of people worldwide who make our products have fair and safe workplaces is part of our commitment to running a responsible business.  To learn more about our Code of Conduct program, visit the Responsibility section of our website.