Posts Tagged ‘renewable 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.

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.

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.

Green Energy in Coal Country

95% of the power produced in the state of Kentucky comes from coal – one of the most widely-used fuels for electrical generation, and one of the largest fixed-source producers of CO2.  It’s no small feat, then, that deep in the heart of coal country Kentucky Utilities Company (KU) is working hard to make their energy green.

By enrolling in KU’s Green Energy program, customers can offset the carbon impact of their electricity use, one “block” at a time.  Every $5 purchase of Green Energy ensures that 300 kWh of renewable energy is delivered onto the Kentucky transmission grid (currently sourced from the Mother Ann Lee hydroelectric plant, with more renewable energy sources under consideration) – supporting the development of renewable energy in the region, and helping to improve the environment for all of us.

Through KU’s Green Energy program, Timberland recently began offsetting 100% of the carbon emissions from our Danville, KY distribution center – to the tune of roughly 1,894 tons of CO2 emissions each year.  We’re proud to be the first Green Business to join KU’s program at the 100% level.

KU customers can calculate their carbon footprint and enroll in the Green Energy program on the company’s website.  Not a Kentucky resident?  Call your local utility company and inquire about renewable energy options – many now offer green energy programs similar to KU’s.