Posts within ‘Making Our Difference: TBL CSR’

CSR Stakeholder Call Summary: June 11th Scaling Sustainable Change Dialogue

Earlier this week, Timberland hosted a CSR Stakeholder Call about how to scale local community engagement efforts. Timberland’s VP of CSR Mark Newton was joined by Chuck Bennett, VP of Earth & Community Care at Aveda for a stimulating discussion about employee engagement, extending volunteerism up and down the supply chain, and how to scale efforts through collaboration and partnership.

Corporate community engagement

Did you know that 2012 is the 20th Anniversary of Timberland’s Path of Service™ program?  Path of Service is our employee volunteer program, which provides Timberland staff up to 40 paid hours for community service.  When the program was started, the idea of giving employees paid time off to perform community service was unconventional. Through this program Timberland offers our most valuable resource – our employees’ time – to engage in the communities where we live and work.

What was unique in 1992 is not so today; many companies now offer similar programs, and we’re fortunate to be informed and inspired by many of them – including Aveda, whose employee engagement program was outlined on this week’s call.

What’s the value of these community engagement efforts? We know our commitment to community engagement helps us retain employees and contributes to a healthy corporate culture. In our last global employee survey, 67% of employees reported that our Path of Service™ program plays a strong role in their decision to work at Timberland.

Extending up and down the supply chain

Just as we’ve seen increased employee development, attraction and retention inside our own company, we have encouraged and supported factories that produce our products to serve their local communities as well. See Timberland’s Responsibility site for examples of this engagement in factories in China.

We also have opportunity to engage business partners in service. By inviting others to join with us, we inevitably increase our impact. In fact, in 2011, 40% of the volunteers at Timberland-sponsored service events worldwide were business partners, and we hope to increase that percentage in 2012.  Whether we’re working together to transform a school, build community gardens, or plant trees, we know that the bonds formed through service are more powerful than simply taking a customer out to dinner. Some of these organizations have even formed their own community engagement programs!

Consumer engagement

On the call, both Timberland and Aveda discussed opportunities to extend their community engagement efforts to their consumers and retail partners. For Timberland, our 20th anniversary of Path of Service™ presents a unique opportunity to invite these important stakeholders to join us. Timberland Taiwan is leading the way (with over 3,000 hours served by consumers and employees to date!), and we aim for other regions to also engage their consumers this year.

We were inspired to learn more about Aveda’s Serve from the Heart program, whereby Aveda provides grants to retail stores to invest in their local community organizations of their choosing – and store employees are also encouraged to volunteer. And there’s no doubt that Aveda’s Earth Month campaign is having a profound impact: in 2011, the company exceeded its goal of raising $4 million for global and clean water projects.

The importance of collaboration and partnership

Clearly, neither Timberland nor Aveda could successfully engage these local communities without their employees, business partners, consumers, and local community members. For Timberland, we’re always willing to share our experience – organizations looking to run their own service events might find some helpful tips in our Community Service Toolkit.

If you missed this week’s call and want to hear more, you can listen to the entire podcast here.  Learn more about Timberland’s community engagement efforts and stay tuned for opportunities to continue the conversation at http://responsibility.timberland.com.

Tune In: Timberland and Aveda Talk about Scaling Sustainable Change

Since 2008, Timberland has hosted regular calls with a diverse set of stakeholders to support our long-term corporate CSR strategy. This level of transparency and accountability helps Timberland elevate dialogue on material issues for our industry, while also giving us critical feedback to become a more sustainable organization.

Our next call:

Scaling Sustainable Change
Monday, June 11 from 11 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST

Timberland’s VP of CSR Mark Newton and Aveda’s VP of Earth and Community Care Chuck Bennett will discuss how to build a more sustainable society by scaling environmental awareness and local community engagement through partnerships with employees, suppliers, customers, and peer companies.

Please register for the event by emailing csrinfo@timberland.com. You’ll receive a response within 24 hours that confirms successful registration.

Be sure to pre-register by June 8 to receive the call-in details! These materials will be sent on Friday June 8.

The results of this and other calls are posted online.  Timberland’s Responsibility portal will also be an online stakeholder engagement platform to continue discussion after the call.

Come With Us to Wanderlust

It’s time to hit the slopes again – yes, really – as the Wanderlust Festival rolls into a resort town near you.  One part yoga, one part music, one part fine fresh food, Wanderlust is the ultimate happy place for anyone in need of soul-soothing or mind and body recharging.  Here’s a taste of what Wanderlust is all about:

Now in its 4th season, Wanderlust will kick off June 21-24 at Stratton Mountain in Vermont, will continue on to Wanderlust Colorado at Copper Mountain July 5-8, will return to its original Wanderlust California at Squaw Valley July 26-29 and will round out the summer at the first ever Wanderlust Whistler at Whistler Resort August 23-26.

Timberland is proud (and totally excited) to be the Official Greening Partner for Wanderlust 2012.  When we’re not enjoying an early-morning meditation or going on a guided hike, we’ll be working with Wanderlust to make this one of the most socially and environmentally conscious events of its kind by improving the festival’s waste reduction process (less waste = happier planet).  And for festival-goers who favor eco-friendly transportation, we’re also sponsoring the “Wanderbus” – providing bio-diesel bus transportation between Wanderlust and major cities nearby.

Pack up your yoga pants and your best “heal thyself” attitude and come on along.  You can find all the important details about Wanderlust 2012 on the official festival website.  To learn more about what Timberland is doing to support Wanderlust and for exclusive on-site footage and reports, stay tuned to our Wanderlust website and our Facebook page.

Big Steps to Renewable Energy in Europe

As an outdoor brand, Timberland knows that climate change is a real threat. We aim to be part of the solution by reducing our energy demand, investing in renewable energy and working with our partners to do the same.

Where possible, we’re driving down energy demand across all our facilities. In Europe, we have the opportunity to purchase clean energy for some of our offices, showrooms and retail store – but it’s not an easy task, as grid-renewable energy is not available in all locations. For example, we’ve had to work creatively with utility providers and experiment with bulk purchasing to bring success experienced in places like Germany, Austria and Switzerland to countries like the United Kingdom, where Timberland’s European Headquarters (EHQ) is based.

“We wanted to use renewable energy (in the U.K.) for a long time,” explains Alex Crawford, Timberland’s London-based European procurement manager, “but there wasn’t enough supply to meet the demand from businesses.”

Then in 2010, the British government began investing heavily in renewable power, offering tax breaks and relaxing laws to encourage the creation of power from sources other than fossil fuel. “Power companies erected big wind farms out in the ocean off the coast of Britain, so within the last 18 months, the supply has increased dramatically,” Crawford says.

Timberland’s procurement and facilities teams in the U.K. jumped at the opportunity to support the company’s energy goals in their homeland. With the help of National Utility Services, an integrated energy solutions firm, we were able to consolidate energy suppliers, and now source energy from a single supplier for our EHQ location 20 miles west of London, and another supplier for all retail locations in the U.K. This consolidation has offered a financial benefit, as well as an environmental one: we can buy renewable energy in bulk, resulting in cost savings. As of August 1, 2011, nearly all of the energy used by Timberland in the U.K. is derived from renewable sources.

“One of the great things about working for Timberland is that we always work as a team,” says Crawford. “Everybody pulled together to deliver this financially and environmentally beneficial result.”

Because of our focus on sourcing clean energy in Europe and elsewhere, Timberland met its goal of purchasing 15% clean energy out of our total energy usage in 2011. Going forward, we anticipate challenges as we look for opportunities to curb energy demand and emissions while still growing our business and expanding our international presence. Stay tuned to updates on Timberland’s Responsibility site for how we’ll tackle this challenge.

Sharing Traditions (and Garden Tools) With Our VF Family

Last month, Timberland celebrated our first Earth Day as a member of the VF Corporation family.  We’re proud to  share our 20-year tradition of community service with the other VF Brands, and were excited for the opportunity to share our first Earth Day service event with hundreds of volunteers from our new “sister brands” JanSport, lucy and The North Face.

Sharing our commitment to service is important to us – and so is the impact that it creates in communities and for the organizations we serve.  Look at the good work our Earth Day team of volunteers did to benefit the Alameda Point Collaborative in California:

2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Timberland’s Path of Service program, which gives our employees paid time off to serve in the community.  You can learn more about the program on our Responsibility website.  To learn more about our Earth Day efforts, check out our previous posts.

7 Cups of Caffeine in Every Coat

You can leave the travel mug at home if you’re wearing our Formentor Race Jacket. It’s made with S.Café yarn, which contains PET from recycled plastic bottles and – wait for it – recycled coffee grounds.

Why coffee grounds?  Turns out they’re excellent at absorbing odor, which is pretty important if you’re working up a sweat … or shipwrecked on a deserted island without a bar of soap (it could happen).

Here’s Dean, our senior director of apparel, to tell us more:

S.Cafe is just one more way we’re thinking about the planet as we design our products.  To learn more about the eco-conscious materials and technologies we use, check out the Timberland Technology Guide.  To get your own Formentor Race Jacket (or one of our other non-caffeinated styles),  shop our outerwear collection.

Cast Your Vote for Best Bag

Designers all over the world have submitted their entries for the 6th annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards (IHDA), presented by InStyle and Handbag Designer 101.  The only handbag competition of its kind in the world, the IHDA recognizes handbag excellence in nine categories, including Best Green Handbag – an IHDA award Timberland is proud to sponsor, along with Amorim Cork, for the third year in a row.  Timberland strives to use recycled, renewable and organic materials in our own products, and we’re happy to recognize and support handbag designers who share our love of green!

Meet the fabulous finalists in the Best Green Handbag category:

Now it’s your turn: one of the handbag awards will go to the Audience Fan Favorite – the handbag design that receives the most audience votes.  Just click through to the Audience Fan Favorite voting page and cast your vote for the bag you love best (one that’s made of recycled and sustainable materials, maybe?).

All of the winning designers and their handbags will be announced at the IHDA awards ceremony on June 13th.  Stay tuned – we’ll be sharing photos from the ceremony and details about the Best Green Handbag winner here on the Bootmakers Blog.

May Means Mountainfilm

Colorado may be home to some of the best skiing in the states, but when the temperature warms and the snow melts, we love it for a whole different reason: Mountainfilm in Telluride.

To call Mountainfilm a film festival would be an understatement: it’s as much about the people that attend and the experiences they share as it is about the films that are shown.  Each year, activists, explorers and artists of all kinds congregate at Mountainfilm to examine environmental, cultural and social issues in a uniquely creative way — and to be moved and motivated to take their own action.

As a brand that appreciates creativity and is passionate about protecting the great outdoors, we’re excited to be the Official Footwear Sponsor of Mountainfilm in Telluride.  As part of our sponsorship, we’re going to be outfitting filmmakers and other Mountainfilm VIPs in our Earthkeepers footwear (made with recycled and environmentally-conscious materials), and encouraging festival-goers to be more eco-conscious in their own lives.  If you’re going to Mountainfilm, stop by the Timberland kiosk and make a pledge to reduce your environmental impact — we’ll plant a tree in your honor!

If you’re not traveling to Telluride, stay connected to all the best of what’s happening at Mountainfilm by visiting our Festivals page - we’ll be sharing stories, photos and videos from our experience there.

Giving Hunger the Boot

Did you know that just one dollar can feed five people? It can, when that dollar goes to Harvesters — the only community food bank serving as many as 66,000 hungry people every week in a 26-county area of northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri.  With just one dollar, Harvesters can acquire, transport, sort, store and distribute enough donated food to feed five people in the area it serves.

Along with our longstanding partner SkillsUSA, Timberland PRO is once again supporting Harvesters and the critical work they do through our Virtual Food Drive.  To participate, simply click through to the food drive and add much-needed food items to your virtual grocery cart.  It’s that easy!

All donations are tax deductible, and Timberland PRO will match food drive donations, up to $1,000 or 5,000 meals.  Better still – all donors will be entered in a raffle to win a $250 American Express gift card!

We’re proud to work with SkillsUSA and help Harvesters give hunger the boot.  To learn more and make a donation, please visit www.timberland.harvesters.org; the Virtual Food Drive ends on June 27th.

Timberland Goes Antiquing

Call it a commitment to sustainability — or maybe just Yankee frugality — but at Timberland, we try to repurpose old materials whenever we can, rather than buying or creating new ones. One of the best ways we can do this is to incorporate repurposed and reclaimed materials in the design of our retail stores.

While giving new life to old things is environmentally rewarding (less waste going into a landfill), it’s also a lot of fun!  See for yourself what it was like when we went trolling for treasures at the legendary Brimfield Antique Show:

Put your own repurposing skills to work by visiting an antiques show like Brimfield (which opens today) to see what precious pieces await you.  To learn more about the materials and methods we use to design our stores in more sustainable ways, visit the sustainable store design section of our website.