Posts Tagged ‘code of conduct’

Timberland’s Quarterly CSR Reporting

Timberland recently announced its Q2 2012 CSR performance. You’ll find highlights from our second quarter’s performance below, organized by our four CSR Pillars: climate, product, factories, and service.  For complete Q2 2012 performance data and analysis, please visit the Goals & Progress section of our Responsibility website.

CLIMATE:

  • Greenhouse Gas emissions for Timberland owned and operated facilities, as well as air travel, decreased 18% compared to Q2 2011, primarily due to new clean energy purchases in the United Kingdom and a slight reduction in air travel.

PRODUCT:

  • We continue to reduce the environmental impact of our products by focusing on chemicals management in manufacturing.  In Q2 2012, our global average grams/ pair of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in footwear production was 63.2, which is near constant vs. Q2 2011. We anticipate improvements in VOC reductions as early as Q1 2013, as we are now evaluating new products during the development stage and targeting additional support and training for factories that are most challenged with VOC consumption.

FACTORIES:

  • Our parent company (VF) conducted 68 audits of Timberland suppliers in Q2 2012. 19 were Accepted (28%), 45 were Accepted to be Upgraded (66%), and 4 were Rejected (6%) – an improvement vs. Q1 2012 results. Action plans are in process for all factories that are Accepted to be Upgraded.  Primary issues at Rejected factories are lack of social insurance contributions, proper hours/wages recordkeeping, adequate fire alarms and machine guarding, and transparency. If improved ratings are not achieved with re-audits, these suppliers will be dropped.

SERVICE:

  • Timberland employees served a total of 55,189 hours as of the end of Q2 2012. The Hours Utilization Rate (HUR – 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 Q2 2012 was 28%, which is up 7% vs. Q2 2011.

More detail about our Q2 2012 CSR performance can be found on our Responsibility website.  Have a question, comment or want to continue the conversation?  Email us at csrinfo@timberland.com

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.

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.

Timberland’s Quarterly CSR Performance

In December, Timberland announced its CSR performance results for Q3 of 2011.  Highlights from this quarter’s performance are as follows, organized by Timberland’s four CSR pillars of climate, product, factories, and service:

Climate:
Greenhouse Gas emissions
increased by 13% compared to Q3 2010. This change is primarily due to increases in air travel as our business rebounds, and related to efforts to integrate our business with VF Corp (VF acquired Timberland in September 2011). With forecasted business growth this year, we are targeting static emissions for our owned and operated facilities (and employee air travel) as compared with our year end 2010 result.

Product:
Helping to drive reduced environmental impact of our products is a continued focus on chemicals management in manufacturing.  In Q3 2011, our global average grams/ pair of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in footwear production was 59.0. We continue efforts to reduce VOC consumption by substituting high-VOC containing chemicals or reducing their use altogether if a substitute is not readily available.  We are also continuing to prioritize the use of environmentally-preferred materials in our products. In Q3 2011, 16.4% of materials in our apparel production were recycled, organic, or renewable (ROR).

Factories:
In Q3 2011, no factories that Timberland sourced from received a “High Risk” rating.  33% of our suppliers had High Priority scores in Q3 2011, which is relatively the same as our Q2 2011 results.  Controlling working hours and effective wage calculation/payment processes were issues for 100% of the High Priority scores in Q3, and our sourcing managers are working closely with these suppliers to ensure that orders are not beyond realistic production capacity of the factories.

Service:
As of the end of Q3 2011, Timberland employees served a total of 78,241 hours (year to date) in their communities. The Hours Utilization Rate (HUR – the percentage of employee service hours used compared to total available according to the Path of ServiceTM program) year to date at the end of Q3 2011 was 36%, which is an improvement when compared to our Q3 2010 result of 28% HUR.

Additional Q3 2011 performance data and analysis can be found on the Goals & Progress section of Timberland’s CSR website.

Timberland’s Quarterly CSR Update

Last month, Timberland announced its 2nd quarter CSR performance. Highlights from this quarter’s performance are as follows, organized by Timberland’s four CSR Pillars: climate, product, factories, and service:

Climate:
Our Greenhouse Gas emissions increased by 11% in Q2 2011 compared to performance in Q2 2010. This change is primarily due to increases in air travel as our business rebounds, as well as the fact that we are no longer purchasing offsets for our Smartwool operations. With forecasted business growth this year, we are targeting static emissions for our owned and operated facilities (and employee air travel) as compared with our year-end 2010 result. We have prioritized several energy efficiency projects and renewable energy purchases to meet this goal.

Product:
Timberland continues to prioritize the use of environmentally-preferred materials in our products. In Q2 2011, 28.75% of materials in our apparel production were recycled, organic, or renewable (ROR). This result is consistent with Q2 2010 ROR use at 29.1%. 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:
34% of our suppliers had High Priority scores in Q2 2011, which is relatively the same as our Q1 2011 results. Controlling working hours and effective wage calculation/payment processes were issues for 85% of the High Priority factories. Our sourcing managers are increasing regular assessments of factories’ production capacities and making adjustments in orders (or securing additional suppliers).

Service:
Timberland employees served a total of 45,702 hours year to date, as of the end of Q2 2011. The Hours Utilization Rate (HUR – 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 Q2 2011 was 21%, which is slightly higher than our Q2 2010 result.

Additional Q2 2011 performance data and analysis can be found in the Goals & Progress section of Timberland’s new CSR website.

Timberland COC Team Engages in Southeast India Service

Timberland’s Code of Conduct coordinator Ann Caron shared this report from the Code of Conduct Summit we recently held in India:

Timberland’s annual Code of Conduct (COC) Summit, held in India in January, expanded its scope this year to include licensee representatives from CWF and Sperian, sourcing representatives from Timberland’s International Design Center in London, and members of the management teams of Matrix Clothing, Farida Shoes, Eastman Apparel, Birdy Apparel, Pou Yuen, and Li & Fung.  This 40+ person group gathered in Bangalore, Ambur, and Chennai, to engage in 8 days of learning, collaborating, and networking to strengthen our knowledge base and passion for Timberland’s Code of Conduct and environmental values.

Of course, no Timberland gathering would be complete without at least a few hours of community service.  On day 4, the group traveled to Farida for a tour of two of their facilities.  We were welcomed with warmth and hospitality, and were able to see Timberland shoes being produced in front of us.  After our tour, we traveled to Farida’s medical facility, where they offer healthcare to their workforce and the community.  When we reached the clinic, we were greeted by a dry, barren landscape, and a pile of sod, several trees, and a small mountain of soil.

We quickly donned our personal protective equipment, grabbed our tools and got to work.  We spread the pile of soil into the back yard of the clinic – no fancy bobcats or tractors, we formed an assembly line and passed shallow bowls of soil from the front to the back.

Then we laid out sod — not in rolls, but in square foot pieces — over the newly spread soil, transforming the barren soil into a lush, green carpet.  We finished by planting trees in the front and back yards to someday provide shade for the patients seeking medical care.

During this time, we created quite a stir among the community.  Passersby stopped to watch us, and even pitch in.  Children watched and cheered us on, and even joined us for a few photo opportunities.  There were even a few cows in residence.

The participants were asked to reflect on their service experience.  Here are some of the things they shared:

“First of all, my quick thinking is why are we not using more effective tools to move that pile of mud away to the garden?  Then fantastic things happened when my body turned right and turned left quickly – I saw that rhythm of life, the love people who want to give and the happiness of working hard together.  While the mud land was being changed to be green, that motivated and excited me.  Yes, do the right thing and make things better.  This is my first service event this year, and my first in India.  Thanks for inviting me to join.”

“Community service does not have a face, color, nationality, religious or political belief attached to it.  I was someone from another country trying to create a better living environment for people that I did not know and that I will probably never meet or see.”

“I was inspired very much by the way you all were dedicated and involved until the completion and the way you all moved with me, really I am honored.  I have a feeling that we all belong to one family.  All I can give you back is only thanks, thanks, and thank you all so much.”

“I loved that there were local kids present and asking questions.  It was great to tell them what we were doing and have them interested in service in the future.  One wanted to join us.  I felt it was a great multi-member group – COC, factory, IDC, and locals, and that showed what can be done when there is one main goal.  We were fast!”

“Together, we made it better.”

The Farida team, who already serves its community on a regular basis, was thrilled with the quick transformation of the clinic’s grounds and was inspired by the team’s “Pull on your boots and make a difference” spirit.  The COC team was exhausted, but at the same time energized and inspired by the impact we created in such a short time.

Just another example of how a small group of committed citizens can make a difference.

Engaging and Empowering for Positive Change

Earthkeeping isn’t all about treating the environment with kindness and respect … it’s about caring for the people who share the environment with us in the same way.

There is a great article by Dan Viederman, Executive Director for  Verité, in McKinsey & Company’s “What Matters” publication.  In it, Dan speaks about the power of worker empowerment and engagement, based on work that Verité has done for the past several years, dating back to pilot programs they conducted with Timberland in 2006 in some of our supply chain factories in China.

Based on our own experiences, I echo Dan’s sentiments about the important role worker engagement can play in instilling worker empowerment, and about the need to scale that work.  Since our pilots in 2006, Timberland has rolled the approach out globally and we now formally engage workers in the assessment process in 100% of our factories.  Last year we published a paper that outlines in detail our approach, hoping to inspire others to move from compliance audits to collaborative worker-engaged platforms.

Thoughts about Dan’s article, questions about Timberland’s own approach?  Please feel free to share them here.

Colleen Von Haden
Senior Manager, Code of Conduct
Timberland