Posts Tagged ‘clean energy’

Clean Energy in Action

Timberland’s passion for preserving the environment drives us to constantly develop new practices for generating clean energy sources. Turns out, we’re in good company. In November 2012, we were recognized as the Corporate Citizen of the Year at the New England Clean Energy Council’s 5th Annual Green Tie Gala. Timberland was the only non-energy company to receive an award.

Factoring in to our selection was our efforts to purchase renewable energy for our European facilities and to source renewable energy for all of our distribution centers—including an on-site solar array at our distribution center in Ontario, California. We’ve developed partnerships to bring clean energy to our Danville, Kentucky distribution center in the heart of coal country and we found a way to purchase 100% renewable energy in Holland. In 2011, 15% of the energy we purchased globally came from renewable energy sources, putting us even closer to our 2015 target of 30%.

Another factor that contributed to Timberland’s selection was achieving an industry-leading 38% greenhouse gas emissions reduction between 2006 and 2011 for the facilities that we own and operate and for our employees’ air travel. At year end, we’ll finalize our 2012 Greenhouse Gas inventory and  report our progress.

Other companies recognized at the 2012 Gala included New England leaders in the energy sector such as Joule Unlimited and Ocean Renewable Power Company (co-winners of Emerging Company of the Year), EnerNOC (Employer of the Year), and Harvest Power (Breakout Company of the Year).

We’re honored to be among these forward-thinking companies, and excited that the energy industry recognizes that a footwear company can be a part of the solution for developing clean power sources and creating a cleaner future.

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.