Posts Tagged ‘CSR’

Making a Difference in Brazil: Alpargatas Institute

Alpargatas S.A. is one of the largest shoe manufacturing companies in Latin America, and has been Timberland’s distributor in Brazil since 1998. The company has 13 factories in Brazil and Argentina, and employs more than 17,000 employees worldwide.

In 2003, Alpargatas founded the Alpargatas Institute with the mission of contributing to the improvement and quality of education for children, teenagers and young people through sports and culture in the communities in which the company operates.

The institute has partnered with the government and local NGOs to develop various programs for students, both during and after school. The institute’s programs focus on education via sport, education through culture, volunteering activities, as well as donations.

The actions of the Alpargatas Institute reflect the strong social concern that is embedded in the DNA of Alpargatas. Sport and culture are directly linked to the promotion of quality of life, welfare, integration, overcoming barriers as well as for the understanding of individuals and teams. Therefore, we believe that by supporting sports, educational and cultural activities Alpargatas is adding elements to the school curriculum of these communities that are part of the everyday life of our business and our way of being and living.

- Alpargatas’ President, Mr. Marcio Utsch

The Alpargatas Institute currently has programs in 13 cities in 4 states, and to date, these programs have benefitted over 348,000 children, helping them to gain a wealth of knowledge, experience, confidence and hope for a better future.  In addition, these programs have helped to contribute to the improvement of the Basic Education Development Index – an indicator created by Brazilian Federal Government to evaluate the quality of education in the country – in the cities in where it operates.

We are proud of the positive impact that Alpargatas is having in its communities, and pleased to call them a long-time Timberland partner.

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’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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

New Bags Bring Smiles for Students in China

Last October, employees at Stella Group, a longtime Timberland factory partner, organized a schoolbag donation at the Long Xiang primary school in Qingyuan City, Guangdong province, China.  The school, which is located in a remote, mountainous area, serves more than 250 students between preschool and grade 6.  There are just ten teachers.

For the school bag donation, Stella volunteers contacted the school to determine how many students in each grade, and the number of boys and girls.  Then, they purchased school bags and study tools, including pens and pencils, erasers, notebooks, painting books and stationery cases.  Once the supplies were packaged in each new schoolbag (pink for the girls and blue for the boys), the volunteers delivered and distributed at the Long Xiang school.

The students were all so happy to receive these colorful new schoolbags full of study tools!

The boys love their new blue bags

Colorful pencil boxes!

Long Xiang students proudly displaying their new schoolbags

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.