Posts within ‘Making Our Difference: TBL CSR’

Rock & Recycle: Expert Advice from Zero Hero

“Zero Hero” might sound like an oxymoron, but bear with me: this organization helps to make music and lifestyle festivals more eco-conscious and sustainable.  We caught up with Zero Hero founder Bryan Birch at the 2012 Wanderlust Festival in Vermont earlier this summer and he gave us some tips on how to enjoy summer’s best events without leaving a huge environmental impact:

Buddy Up.  Carpooling is way more fun than going solo anyway.  Another responsible alternative?  Using event-provided transportation, like the bio-diesel powered Wanderlust bus, to save gas money and CO2 emissions.

Wanderbus Roadtrip!

BYOBottle. Buying bottled water is so 2006.  Bring your own reusable bottle to fill on site to save a few bucks and spare the environment your plastic waste.

Dress for success. Mom always said wear clean underwear and that’s a good start – even better is topping it with clothing and footwear made with recycled and renewable materials. Like these:

Earthkeepers Wharf Bomber Jacket, made with recycled nylon

Earthkeepers Radler Trail Low Approach, featuring recycled PET linings and recycled rubber in the outsoles

To see what other eco-tips Bryan has for staying green while you’re festival-ing this summer, visit the Expert Advice section of our men’s website.

Measuring What Matters and the Higg Index

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article about the newly-launched Higg Index, which will allow brands, factories and chemical manufacturers to score the relative sustainability of their products. Eventually, the intent is to also make that information available to consumers to better inform their purchasing decisions — much in the same way you can compare nutrition labels to make smart choices at the grocery store.

The Higg Index was developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) in partnership with the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group (OIA SWG).  Timberland is proud to have been a founder, and to continue to play a leadership role, in both of these groups. In fact, the Higg Index was inspired in part by our Green Index® rating system, which “scores” Timberland products based on their environmental impacts.

The launch of the Higg Index is important news, and a sign that we’re moving in the right direction of increased transparency and sustainability in the footwear and apparel industry.  We look forward to working with the other members of the SAC and OIA SWG as the tool develops.

Progress marches on!

Plenty of Reasons to Plant Trees

Did you know that trees have countless benefits, like oxygen production, mudslide prevention, natural water filtration… and honesty? No, we’re not making this up. In South America, the Maiten tree is known as the “tree of truth” by aborigines because no lies can be told under its shelter. No one really likes a liar, so the Timberland team in Argentina has been working hard to plant 3,500 of them!

Tree planting volunteers in Argentina

But that’s not the only place we’re planting. We’re putting roots in the ground all over the world in places like India, Belgium, Russia, Germany, Venezuela, Italy and Portugal, too. Who knows, we might be planting trees in your own backyard!

Tree planting in Italy

Each of our tree planting projects has a story to tell and a unique benefit to the local community, from providing shelter to native butterfly species, to saving a famous pine forest from eroding away into the ocean, to reforesting areas devastated by forest fires. And to share these stories with you, we launched seven new Local Programs tree planting pages on our Community site where you can find out why we’re planting and see the dedicated teams doing the digging.

Tree planters in action in Venezuela

From the Patagonia Mountains to the sandy seaside forest in Leiria, the pictures from these projects are worth a thousand words… and thousands of trees: http://community.timberland.com/local-programs

The Power of Service Inspires Taiwan

2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Timberland’s Path of Service™ program, which gives employees 40 hours of paid time off to serve in their communities. This milestone provides an opportunity to recognize the importance of service to our corporate culture, honor our heritage, and look for ways to deepen our commitment to service. One way we are doing that is by expanding that commitment beyond our employee base—encouraging consumers to join us in serving in their communities.

Our Timberland team in Taiwan is leading the way, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Path of Service™ program by setting a goal to serve 10,000 hours in 2012. Consumers who serve with us will be thanked for their efforts: those who serve 24 hours throughout the year at Timberland events will receive a free Timberland T-shirt, while those who serve 40 hours will receive a free pair of Earthkeepers boots!

The first of five major service events planned occurred in March, when a team gathered to help clean and protect Taiwan’s eroding seashore. Timberland employee and consumer volunteers built a fence to help slow the loss of sand, and categorized and recorded waste collected. Volunteers were amazed to discover that some of the waste came from Korea, Japan and even the Philippines.

The next consumer-oriented service event took place in May, when a Taiwan service team ventured into the mountains to help beautify a national park and eradicate non-indigenous plants and marine life that are creating an ecological imbalance in local ponds.

Timberland Taiwan’s 10,000 service-hour goal is well on its way to being met, with some 3,000 service hours accrued in early 2012.  We hope to take Taiwan’s model and expand it to a more global scale, as we aim to share Timberland’s passion for service, while making it fun and easy for consumers all over the world to engage with our brand.

To learn more about our commitment to community service and the ways in which we’re working to make a difference around the world, visit our Responsibility site.

The Quickest (and Cleanest!) Way to Plant a Tree

Two years ago, Timberland launched a community-based agroforestry program in Haiti that includes 8 tree nurseries run by volunteer farmers.  We connect those farmers with trees, seeds, tools and training, and they grow trees and crops to sell and eat.  It’s all part of Timberland’s commitment to plant 5 million trees before 2015.

You can help our agroforestry program grow without getting your hands dirty (although I understand that for some people, that’s half the fun) — and you might even learn a little something about yourself at the same time.  Just answer the personality questions in our Timberland “Hortiscope” (get it?) on Facebook to learn which tree species you most resemble.  When you take the quiz, we’ll plant a real tree for you in Haiti.

To learn more about Timberland’s commitment to regreening communities around the world, check out the tree planting section of our website.  And for more videos about our agroforestry program in Haiti, go to our YouTube channel.

Timberland’s Quarterly CSR Reporting

Earlier this week, Timberland announced its CSR performance results for the first quarter of 2012. Highlights from each of our four CSR pillars (climate, product, factories, and service) are below.  Specific Q1 2012 performance data and analysis can be found on the Goals & Progress section of Timberland’s Responsibility website.

CLIMATE:

  • Our Greenhouse Gas emissions decreased 8.5% compared to Q1 2011, primarily due to new clean energy purchases in the United Kingdom, as well as Italy and Germany. Other factors were slight reduction in air travel and a warm winter (whereby we used less heating throughout global facilities).

PRODUCT:

  • We have successfully upgraded our product lifecycle management software to better automate Green Index® scores for our footwear. During 2012, we are working towards our goal to have all footwear scored by the end of this year.
  • Timberland continues to prioritize the use of environmentally-preferred materials in our products. In Q1 2012, 34.6% of materials in our apparel production were recycled, organic, or renewable (ROR). Timberland’s International Design Center continues to drive improved ROR use across our apparel production. We are also working with our Licensee partners to further incorporate these materials.

FACTORIES:

  • In Q1 2012, our new parent company (VF) began assessing Timberland suppliers. Consistent with VF’s commitment to promote best practices and continuous improvement throughout its factories, Timberland’s Code of Conduct team (renamed to Supplier Sustainability Team in 2012) will continue to engage suppliers by providing remediation assistance, capacity building and “beyond compliance” efforts. For more information about changes in our Compliance & Supplier Sustainability program see http://responsibility.timberland.com/factories.

SERVICE:

  • Timberland employees served a total of 23,555 hours as of the end of Q1 2012. The Hours Utilization Rate (the percentage of employee service hours used compared to total available according to the Path of Service program) year to date at the end of Q1 2012 was 11.8%, which is up 3.8% vs. Q1 2011. This is primarily driven by significant increases in hours served by our employees in the Dominican Republic and North America.

Looking for more?  Additional details about our quarterly performance, goals and progress can be found on our Responsibility website.  If you have thoughts, questions or comments about our CSR performance, we’d love to hear them.  Email us at csrinfo@timberland.com.

The Wonderful World of Wanderlust

Last weekend, several lucky members of the Timberland team headed to Stratton Mountain in Vermont to see what Wanderlust 2012 is all about. When we weren’t fine-tuning our yoga poses with renown instructors like Seane Corn, we enjoyed beautiful, inspiring hikes with Timberland guides, listened to incredible live music from performers like Ani DiFranco and MC Yogi and indulged in some of the best-tasting healthy food around, thanks to folks like Hippie Girl Pitas and Vermont’s own Ben & Jerry’s.

We also met some amazing people who stopped by the Timberland Earthkeepers booth to make a pledge to reduce their personal environmental impact.  It was inspiring to meet so many people concerned about the environment – and they had some pretty creative ideas for how to conserve resources and save energy!

Who knew that being the Official Greening Partner for Wanderlust 2012 could be so much fun?  If you missed the Wanderlust Festival at Stratton last weekend, here’s a glimpse:

The fun doesn’t stop here … with three more destinations, Wanderlust 2012 is just getting warmed up. Visit our Festivals page to learn more about Wanderlust and the ways in which Timberland is helping to make this year’s festival one of the most socially and environmentally conscious events of its kind.

Timberland Honored for Reinventing the CSR Report

On June 25, 2012, Timberland was proud to be one of the companies honored at Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Awards, receiving the award for Best Sustainability Report for the way in which we’ve been able to “reinvent the CSR report” with our online Responsibility portal.  Ethical Corporation’s annual awards honor leading companies and individuals for impressive contributions to the responsible business agenda.

When we launched our Responsibility portal in August 2011, we aimed to provide a dynamic, integrated experience to inform, inspire and engage consumers and stakeholders around our key impact areas (also known as Timberland’s Four CSR Pillars):

Climate: Protect the outdoors

Product: Innovate cradle-to-cradle

Factories: Improve workers’ lives

Service: Engage communities

The judges praised the high level of interactivity evident in Timberland’s entry: “It is designed to help people understand the issues at stake and contribute their own comments. Timberland provides comprehensive and honest information on its supplier factories. Its quarterly updates add a real time aspect to the report.”

What’s most rewarding about receiving this award is knowing that we met criteria emphasizing the importance of balanced transparency: Ethical Corporation evaluated companies in this category for how well they are “communicating progress whilst being honest about the challenges they face and clear about the business wins their report has achieved for the company.” These are opportunities and responsibilities we take seriously and work hard to achieve.

We are humbled by Ethical Corporation’s award, and excited that our new approach for transparently measuring and communicating results in an open and accessible way is resonating.  In addition to digging deep into data online, stakeholders who visit http://responsibility.timberland.com can easily access stories about progress we’re making against groundbreaking initiatives. For example, check out what’s behind our most eco-conscious footwear, learn about our ability to incorporate social responsibility into sourcing strategies, and find out how to we’re scaling engagement in local communities.  It’s all part of our effort to leverage social and environmental responsibility as an asset within our brand’s comprehensive communications strategy.

Let us know what you think! We invite you to follow our CSR efforts in real-time at http://responsibility.timberland.com, where you can also join ongoing online discussion through a variety of channels including Timberland’s Bootmakers Blog, CSR Stakeholder Calls, the Voices of Challenge dialogue, Twitter and the brand’s YouTube channel.

Points of Light Honors Timberland with Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence

2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Timberland’s Path of Service™ program, which provides paid time off to our employees to volunteer in their communities for the organizations and causes that are most meaningful to them.

As we celebrate 20 years of the Path of Service internally, we’re grateful to also be recognized for it externally.  Today, Timberland is one of three companies being honored by Points of Light with the 2012 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence – a prestigious award that recognizes innovative volunteer programs designed to create positive change in communities.

Points of Light is the leading global volunteer organization, whose mission is to inspire, equip, and mobilize people to take action that changes the world.  Timberland has been a long-time fan of the good work Points of Light supports, and it’s both an honor and a privilege to receive their vote of confidence for Timberland’s efforts as well.

What the Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence really recognizes, of course, is the passion, energy and dedication of Timberland employees worldwide to make a difference in their communities.  We’re so proud to have a team that cares as deeply about the world around them and works so hard to make it better … and hope you’ll have a chance to join us in service one day.  In the meantime, we extend our deep appreciation to our employees, our communities, and Points of Light for their support of the Path of Service™ program.  Here’s to another 20 years of service!

Kempton Carryall Wins Top Prize!

At last night’s Independent Handbag Designer Awards (IHDA), designer Fiona Kempton of Kempton & Co. was announced the winner of the “Best Green Handbag” design.  Among the recycled and reclaimed materials used in this gorgeous bag are an old flour sack, scraps of leather and reclaimed hardware from 3 old bags from the Salvation Army!

Fiona Kempton's award-winning Wiltshire Carryall

We were excited to co-sponsored the “Best Green Handbag” category this year alongside Amorim Cork, the biggest world producer of natural cork products and a global leader in sustainable business practices. This marks Timberland’s third year sponsoring the Awards; as a company that’s rooted in the outdoors and committed to environmental stewardship, we’re got a natural affinity for green goods!

Through artful, handcrafted design using an eclectic collection of reclaimed materials, Fiona pays tribute to our most delicate resources.  She has created a bag that combines sustainability with style, embodying her dedication to preservation – all values that are aligned with Timberland’s eco-conscious philosophies. Much like our Earthkeepers® collection, the result is a fashion-forward design that consumers will love – and feel good about.

- Jackie LaLime, director of merchandising in North America, Timberland

A selection of Kempton & Co. designs will be sold for a limited time at select Timberland stores in the coming months. In addition, Kempton will be designing and producing a limited run of Timberland-inspired handbags featuring Amorim Cork that will be available for sale at select Timberland stores in the fall.

The IHDA celebrates the best in independent handbag design from around the world; to see the award winners in every category, check out the IHDA website.  And if you’re craving a great green bag of your own, check out our Earthkeepers handbag collection.