Posts Tagged ‘emissions reduction’

Dutch Treat: Timberland Opens New Distribution Center in Holland

Timberland relies on its European distribution center in Enschede, Holland to supply footwear, apparel, and accessories to all of its customers throughout Europe. When the lease on the facility was coming to an end, Timberland weighed the pro and cons of renewing it or moving to another location—carefully considering the environmental impact of each.

We knew we needed a larger space for the future. When we looked at the cost of maintaining older equipment that would need to be replaced, we decided it would be more cost-effective to build a new, larger facility with more efficient equipment that required less energy to run.

- David Rupert, Timberland’s Director of International Distribution Engineering

Timberland chose Almelo, Holland—17 miles south of Enschede—for the new distribution center. The location has both business and environmental benefits, with easy access to the ports of Rotterdam to reduce emissions from trucking.

To live up to the company’s environmental commitment, Timberland partnered with OVG re/ developers, a Dutch developer with a proven track record in sustainable building construction.   OVG re/ developers developed the facility specifically to Timberland’s requirements—one of which was that the building meet Europe’s BREEAM® (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) certification. To earn a BREEAM® certificate, a building must meet established benchmarks for specification, design, construction, and use, as they relate to such topics as energy and water use, the health of the internal environment, pollution, transportation, materials, waste, ecology, and management processes. The new distribution center opened in April 2012, and in June, it officially received a “Good” BREEAM® certification.

Now fully operational, the facility features a number of environmentally conscious attributes, including underground storage tanks that collect rainwater for flushing toilets and motion-detector lights to help reduce energy consumption. A new, state-of-the-art, automated packing system offers greater efficiency—and less noise.  Outside, there’s extensive green landscaping—including more than 100 birdhouses that provide a home for swallows and bats. And like the old facility, the new facility gets 100% of its energy from wind power.

“Our new distribution facility proves once again that eco-conscious choices can also be smart business choices. Now we’re more efficient than ever before—shipping out products faster and with less impact to the planet,” concludes Rupert.

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.

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’s 2010 CSR Results and the Importance of Target Setting

It’s that time of year where people in my position are busy compiling year-end social and environmental performance which will eventually end up in our Corporate Social Responsibility report. Timberland has been reporting on our impacts since 2000, and we’re proud to share our accomplishments and how we got there. What’s equally as important is communicating our failure to meet certain targets, why that may have happened and what we’re doing about it. We call this balanced transparency – and it’s critical for building credibility as a responsible business.

Why would we publish targets that might be aspirational? As a public company, we strive to make responsible choices every day for our business, communities and the outdoors. We vet our targets internally with business units who are responsible for implementing programs to meet these goals, and also externally with issue experts, NGOs, and other stakeholders who push us to reduce our impact and improve the places we live and work. This process holds us to a higher standard. For example, we recently achieved a 38% GHG emissions reduction at the end of 2010 – a huge accomplishment by corporate standards. Sure, we didn’t meet our target last year – but we would never have reduced our footprint by as much as we did had we not set an extremely aggressive goal to in the first place.

And now we’re at it again… at the end of 2010, we collected data to see how we fared against other bold goals. Below, you can find a sampling of our year-end 2010 results, organized by Timberland’s four CSR “pillars,” which are also available for download at http://community.timberland.com/Corporate-Responsibility. By analyzing our current progress and challenges, we can now look to a longer-term horizon to consider new and different ways we will reduce our impact. For the last six months, we have been working on new targets that push us even further. We’ll publish these goals externally so that stakeholders can track our progress – look for our new CSR report late this summer!

2010 CSR Results

ENERGY:

  • As already noted, we achieved a 38% emissions reduction in 2010. This achievement is for our owned and operated footprint and employee air travel, over a 2006 baseline. Our recently released white paper gives all of the details.

PRODUCT:

  • Green Index® scores stayed relatively flat, which is an achievement because we scored a greater variety of products in 2010 (vs. mainly Earthkeeper product or “green” outdoor product in 2009), which included heavier leather styles that tend to score worse.  An increase in recycled content, our phase-out of PVC, and continued reduction in VOC consumption helped improve scores.
  • Of the cotton we purchased in 2010, 34% was organic. This is significantly higher than 2009 (18%), which is impressive given the sharp rise in the price of organic cotton and cotton as a whole.

WORKPLACES:

  • At the end of 2010, 32% of our suppliers had High Priority scores (compared to 32% at the end of 2009) primarily due to Wages and Working Hours issues. With the economic situation improving while labor shortages continued, working hours was a particularly challenging issue for many factories this year.  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 75,859 hours in 2010, which represents an 8% decrease in hours served compared to 2009.  Continuing high demands on employees’ time at our manufacturing facility in the Dominican Republic along with our distribution centers in the U.S. contributed to a significant decrease in hours served as compared to last year.

How We Did – Timberland’s Emissions Reduction Story

In a sea of increasing claims of, “look how green my company is,” I’m proud to work at an organization that is credibly doing something to reduce our contributions to climate change. Our long-standing commitment to reducing our carbon footprint makes sense; our outdoor products are designed to be used in the very areas that we seek to protect and steward.

So how are we doing? Timberland recently achieved an absolute emissions reduction of 38% (for owned and operated facilities and employee air travel) over a 2006 baseline. We focus on absolute reductions because we are measuring the reduction in overall pollution caused by our business.  We achieved this industry-leading result by reducing our energy demand, investing in energy efficiency, and purchasing renewable energy. Overall, these strategies reduce emissions and save costs, making our climate change program a win-win for the environment and our bottom line.

For example, a variety of renovations and improvements made last year at our Stratham, NH (US) headquarters – including the installation of a white roof, more efficient lighting and high-efficiency HVAC systems – resulted in a reduction in energy demand and costs by more than 8%.  In many other Timberland facilities around the world, including our distribution centers in Ontario, CA, Danville, KY and Enschede, Holland, we’re able to generate or purchase renewable energy (directly or through credits) to help us greatly reduce our carbon footprint.  And on the retail side, all new Timberland stores are designed and constructed according to the USGBC’s LEED Retail standard, using an average of 30% less energy than our older store models.

These successes don’t come without challenges. For example, we’re comparing our current reductions to a 2006 baseline which was pretty lean to begin with (meaning we had made major reductions in our energy consumption prior to that time). Also, as we look to increase our use of clean energy, we know that infrastructure and incentives vary location to location, and we may not find the same options for generating or purchasing renewable energy at all of our locations worldwide.

We also are faced with the challenge that our business may grow in the coming years. While this is a good problem to have, it has significant implications for further reductions in our carbon footprint, such as new store openings around the world (which require more energy to operate) and an increase in employee air travel (which causes the most significant emissions within our current scope).

Despite these challenges, we’re committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our owned and operated facilities (and employee air travel) by 50% by the end of 2015. And we’re working to engage our factory partners, materials suppliers, and consumers to reduce their contributions to climate change as well. By diligently accounting for our own carbon emissions and sharing our learnings with others, we’re walking the talk as much as we can. If a company like Timberland can reduce its carbon footprint, others can too.

Please visit www.timberland.com/ClimateStrategy2011 to learn more about our accomplishments, challenges, and work within the supply chain, and http://community.timberland.com to engage with others on these issues.

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.

Doing More to Make Less Impact

It always feels good when you stick to your diet … which is in essence what we’ve done to reduce Timberland’s greenhouse gas emissions (which includes Timberland owned and operated facilities and employee air travel) by 36% over our 2006 baseline.  Even better, we’re on track to reach our goal of a 50% emissions reduction by the end of 2010.

How did we get to the 36% reduction?  Primarily through increased energy efficiency at our retail locations, renewable energy procurement at our distribution facilities and decreases in employee air travel.  Here’s the skinny:

Retail: Timberland is the first company to achieve the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Retail certification for mall-based stores. All new Timberland® stores in North America are built to LEED specifications, and we achieved energy savings by installing state-of-the-art LED lighting in nearly all of our US stores.

Distribution Facilities: By the end of 2009, we sourced approximately 12% renewable energy globally. We use primarily solar power in our Ontario, CA, distribution center and a full 100% wind power at our Enschede, Netherlands site. And in 2009, our Danville, KY distribution center began purchasing locally-produced renewable electricity.

Employee Air Travel: By asking employees to consider alternatives to travel and prioritizing alternative options (including the use of virtual presence and Web conferencing), we’ve been able to reduce the amount of air travel employees use.

Proud as we are of this progress, we realize we’ve still got a long way to go.  Since a large portion of our emissions come from within our supply chain (which we don’t directly control), we’re working hard with our suppliers to help them assess their own energy consumption and implement energy-efficiency strategies.

A press release further detailing our emissions reduction and other highlights of our CSR performance can be found on the Timberland website.