Posts Tagged ‘Making Our Difference: TBL CSR’

Report Card: Timberland’s Social & Environmental Performance

Today, Timberland released our Q3 2010 CSR results. We issue quarterly reports about our social and environmental performance to be accountable for our impacts and progress towards forward-looking goals. As Timberland’s Strategy and Reporting Manager, it’s my job to collect all of this data and analyze its impact on the business. Are we on track to meet our goals? Are there areas we need to improve upon? We believe sharing both positive and (sometimes) negative results allows us to have a credible conversation with stakeholders – who in turn challenge and push us to reduce our impacts even further.

Here are some highlights from this quarter’s results, organized by Timberland’s Four CSR Pillars. Find the 1-page summary here, or check out the reports yourself by clicking on Reporting & Download tab of the new CSR page on Timberland’s online community.

ENERGY:

We achieved a 3% emissions reduction in Q3 2010 compared to Q3 2009. This achievement is due to energy efficiency improvements (LED lighting retrofits in our stores and energy efficiency improvements in our corporate headquarters) and additional stores in Europe purchasing renewable electricity. The continued decrease in emissions puts us close to our 50% emissions reduction goal.

PRODUCT:

We saw a slight increase in Green Index ® scores (7.28 in Q1 2010 vs. 6.61 in Q1 2009; higher scores demonstrate larger environmental impact) this quarter.  This is primarily due to scoring a greater range of products which include heavier, leather products that have a greater carbon footprint.  We are, however, happy to see a year-over-year improvement in chemicals and resources scores. This demonstrates our product teams’ increased focus on using water-based adhesives, as well as recycled, renewable, and organic materials, and reduced reliance on PVC.

WORKPLACES:

At the close of Q3 2010, 32% of our suppliers hold High Priority scores (compared with 27% of suppliers at the end of Q2 2010) primarily due to Wages and Working Hours.  With the economic situation improving (orders increasing) while labor shortages increase, we anticipate working hours to be a recurrent issue for many factories this year.  Our sourcing managers are working with more focus to regularly assess production capacities of their factories and make adjustments in orders or secure additional suppliers.

SERVICE:

Timberland employees served a total of 57,067 hours in the first three quarters of 2010, which represents a 5% decrease in hours served at the close of Q3 2009.  Continuing high demands on employees‘ time at our manufacturing facility in the Dominican Republic along with our distribution centers in Danville, KY and Ontario, CA led to a significant decrease in hours served as compared to this time last year.  However, in Q3 2010, employees in Europe, our Stratham headquarters, U.S. Retail and Asia posted gains in service hours.

How do you think we’re doing? Share your thoughts here on the blog or visit our online forum to share your thoughts on individual pillars.

Corporate Responsibility by the Numbers

Timberland just announced its corporate social responsibility (CSR) results for the first quarter of 2010.  A couple of Earthkeeping highlights:

  • We achieved a 2.5% emissions reduction in Q1 2010 compared to performance in Q1 2009.  This reduction is due to energy efficiency improvements, like LED lighting retrofits in our stores and energy efficiency improvements at our headquarters.  Several of our stores in Europe are now purchasing renewable electricity, which also contributed to reduced energy demand.
  • We continue to see improvement in our Green Index® scores — meaning that the environmental impact of our products is getting lighter, and better.  In our Green Index rated products, recycled and organic content has increased 15% year over year in Q1, and our average Green Index score is 5.87, compared to 6.52 in Q1 2009 (on a 10-point scale with 1 being very green and 10 being very … not).

To read more about our quarterly CSR performance in more detail, visit earthkeeper.com/csr.  Have thoughts about how we’re doing?  Please share them here.

Ethical Corporation Honors Sustainable Businesses

At the Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Summit held earlier this month, 20 organizations and individuals were honored for their commitment to innovative practices in corporate responsibility.

Timberland was proud to be among the honorees, recognized for our Don’t Tell Us It Can’t Be Done campaign which encouraged consumers to voice their support for world leaders attending COP15 to set meaningful climate standards. While COP 15 didn’t produce the outcomes we were all hoping for, our campaign succeeded as a means of actively engaging consumers in the climate change issue – powerful progress, in our book.

Other companies doing good things and earning recognition as 2010 Responsible Business Summit award winners include:

PepsiCo, for their direct seeding of rice technology – an innovation that has resulted in a savings of 5.5 billion liters of water in India (among the largest rice growers in the world) and has helped Pepsi achieve “positive water balance” – meaning that they are actually giving back more water than their business consumes.

Continental Clothing, for their EarthPositive® Apparel. This organically and ethically-made product line was launched in 2008 and incorporates best practices to reduce the social and environmental damage normally associated with cotton farming and textile production. The line is manufactured solely using sustainable energy generated from wind power.

Produce World for their innovative approach to sustainability reporting, which includes a web portal which gives stakeholders access to unedited, real-time data about the company’s performance (including carbon and water intensity, accident frequency and waste management) on a site by site, month by month basis against each of the company’s social and environmental KPIs.

We find Ethical Corp’s awards particularly endearing because they include a “Greenwasher of the Year” award to recognize an organization (based on judges’ choice, not entries) that “continues to do considerable environmental damage whilst professing to be sustainable.”  Sometimes recognizing the bad is as important as recognizing the good.

For a complete list of this year’s Responsible Business Summit honorees and their award-winning initiatives, visit ethicalcorporation.com.

Ceres Sustainability Reporting Awards

At the annual Ceres conference held earlier this week, Timberland was very proud to accept the award for the Best Sustainability Report.  We’re honored to receive this important recognition, particularly considering the first-class caliber of contenders we were up against, including:

Ford Motor Company
(First Runner Up, Best Sustainability Report)

Ford’s 2008-09 Blueprint for Sustainability Report addresses the fundamental challenge of sustainability and includes candid discussion about Ford’s past performance, mistakes made and how they’re working to further integrate sustainability into their business model.

Seventh Generation

(Best  Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Report)

Seventh Gen’s 2008 Corporate Consciousness Report includes focus on two key considerations for sustainable business: supply chain and competition.  The report features an in-depth discussion about how the company engages with its manufacturing partners to improve sustainability performance, as well as how it uses industry collaboration to create positive change.

The fact that the Ceres-ACCA Reporting Awards program is ten years old and counting is testament itself that there is a real need for and interest in business communicating openly and honestly about its efforts to create positive environmental and social impact.  We’ve drawn insight and inspiration from past award recipients, and we hope we can live up to their leadership and do the same for other organizations.

For more information about the Ceres-ACCA Reporting Awards, click here.

Let’s Talk: How to ‘Mainstream’ the Climate Change Discussion?

Since 2008, Timberland has hosted quarterly calls with a diverse set of stakeholders to support our long-term corporate CSR strategy. This level of transparency and accountability helps Timberland elevate a dialogue on material issues for our industry while providing us critical feedback as we chart our path to become a more sustainable organization.  Won’t you join us for the next quarterly call?

Date:  Thursday April 8, 2010

Time:  12:30 to 2:00 PM EST

Topic:  Discuss the challenges of how to make climate change resonate in a mainstream, retail space and how to scale consumer behavior change.

Speakers:
Timberland’s Jeff Swartz
Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm


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 sign up by April 5 to receive additional information about the call and call-in details! These materials will be sent the week of the call.

The results of this and other calls are posted on our reporting web page. This online stakeholder platform will provide a continuation of the discussion through stakeholder comments and discussion after the call.

Ceres Report: Sustainable Biz a Necessity, Not a Nicety

A report issued by Ceres this week sends a message loud and clear to for-profit business:
Start taking sustainability seriously – or else.

As energy prices rise, populations grow and resources become increasingly constrained, the report explains, sustainability strategies are no longer a “nice to do,” but rather a critical business necessity – and a factor in determining success.

“Sustainability performance is fundamental for business success in the 21st century,” said Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres, which published the report, The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability. “If businesses deepen their efforts to solve social and environmental threats, it will position them to innovate and compete in the fast-changing, resource-constrained global economy.”

The report provides a roadmap of sorts for integrating sustainability into every aspect of business, focusing on 4 distinct areas: governance, stakeholder engagement, disclosure and performance.  It also calls for significant performance improvements from companies by 2020. Among the report’s 20 key expectations for companies:

  • Make energy efficiency and renewable energy the foundation for company operations
  • Design and implement closed-loop systems so that air and wastewater emissions are eliminated and zero waste is produced
  • Dedicate 50 percent of research and development investment to developing sustainability solutions
  • Compensate and provide incentives for top executives and other employees to drive sustainability into the business

The good news is that many companies already recognize the challenges outlined in the Ceres report, and are incorporating them into their business planning.   Further good news?  Given the best practice examples the report includes, along with the clearly-defined roadmap for implementation, companies that are currently lagging behind can quickly and easily become educated, inspired and on their way to greater sustainability.

More information and report downloads can be found at www.ceres.org.

See You In Copenhagen . . . Wait, We’re Here!

Seventy days ago, at the Climate Week Opening Ceremony in New York City, brilliant filmmaker, Gabriel London , released the short-film series, “See You in Copenhagen.” The films played to a crowd of climate legislation influencers United Nations policy leaders–including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Danish Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard.

Through impassioned imagery, the films tell the stories of the real people–the innovators, entrepreneurs and UN Ambassadors–behind the Climate Change "policy puzzle." Simultaneously, the series highlights the urgent need for upcoming action on climate legislation.

Inspired, I joined Gabriel London’s efforts to call for action. First, I lent my voice to his series–literally by introducing and tracking three abridged episodes.
Watch the first episode here–explaining why small island nations, like Grenada, have so much at stake.

Though great, the series is "See You in Copenhagen." Now Gabriel and I are actually IN COPENHAGEN! The need for action is no longer "upcoming," but here and now. With said urgency, Gabriel and I have teamed up with Earthkeepers to bring you daily–from the ground reports–on anything and everything related to COP15. The events here–as they unfold before us–IN Copenhagen.

We’ll be here for the next two weeks of negotiations so be sure to leave your thoughts and suggested questions (for interview subjects such as green entrepreneur Shai Agassi and Nobel Peace Prize-winning scientist Stephen Schneider ) IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.

Til tomorrow, signing out from Copenhagen.
Can’t wait to see what happens!

Olivia

Service with a Smile

If the cliche is true and a picture really is worth a thousand words, then we ‘re saving ourselves a lot of writing by sharing the following video with you.  It depicts the spirit and the impact of our annual Serv-a-palooza event more powerfully than written words could … plus it’s more fun to look at.

Reporting on Responsibility

Today we released our 2007-2008 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report — chock full of information about Timberland’s performance, successes, challenges, and forward-looking goals for each of our four CSR focus areas (energy, product, workplaces and service).

This bi-annual report is a more comprehensive compliment to our quarterly reporting efforts , and is designed to create a two-way dialogue for collecting feedback about our CSR initiatives.   Readers are invited to share their feedback and ideas for improvement through the "Voices of Challenge " — a dynamic online forum created to engage thought leaders, practitioners, NGOs, investors, students and consumers on specific CSR challenges facing the business community.  To jumpstart the online dialogue, we’ve invited thought leaders like Bill McKibben , Joel Makower , Li Qiang and New York City Mayor Bloomberg to weigh in.

We’re excited to share our new CSR report with all of our Earthkeeper readers, and invite you to give it a read and also join the Voices of Challenge conversation .  Feedback, questions and challenges are also welcome here on the Earthkeeper blog.

Timberland’s Quarterly Corporate Responsibility Results Released

Timberland’s Q1 2009 corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance report is now available online at JustMeans.com.  Results are organized according to our 4 CSR pillars (energy, product, workplace and service) and choice highlights include:

  • We achieved continued greenhouse gas emissions reductions due to less air travel and a conversion of our Danville distribution center to renewable electricity.
  • We continue to report supply chain emissions in our effort to address the largest part of our carbon footprint. We’re refining our data collection from factories and will report emissions related to Timberland-only products later in 2009. Establishing a baseline for Timberland-related emissions will allow us to work more effectively with our partner factories on carbon management.
  • The growth in our Earthkeepers product line has resulted in our apparel team and licensees greatly exceeding our organic cotton procurement target. This reduces our dependence on conventional cotton, which is grown with harmful pesticides and herbicides.
  • We are now reporting our consumption of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which is a more holistic measure of hazardous chemical consumption than our previous water-based adhesive metric. Tracking this metric will allow us to better manage the chemicals in our footwear supply chain.

To see our detailed disclosure, click on the reports at www.timberland.justmeans.com.  Here, you’ll find quarterly comparisons to annual data and forward-looking targets, description of our metrics and data collection processes, and analysis of this quarter’s results.  For more information, contact csrinfo@timberland.com.