“Timberland has a longstanding commitment to sustainability, which goes well beyond environmental stewardship”
Timberland made many positive strides against its CSR goals in 2014, continuing the brand’s journey to decrease its impact on the environment, enhance communities around the globe through employee engagement, and create a more sustainable supply chain. The company also remains committed to addressing challenges in these areas. Highlights of Timberland’s progress and opportunities in 2014 include:
SERVICE – Supporting communities around the globe with an increase in volunteer hours; hitting one million hours of service.
- Timberland strives to find ways to creatively engage employees in service. Through its Path of ServiceTM program launched in 1992, Timberland employees around the globe are provided up to 40 paid hours each year to volunteer in their communities. In 2014 alone, 78 percent of employees served more than 72,000 hours in more than 100 locations in 19 countries, reflecting a 10.3 percent increase in hours served vs. 2013. This contributed to the brand celebrating a major milestone: one million hours served.
- Timberland kicks off its 2015 service efforts in earnest this week, with more than 1,600 employees, business partners and consumers slated to complete more than 13,000 service hours at projects in over 60 communities worldwide as part of the company’s 17th consecutive year serving in honor of Earth Day.
- In 2014, Timberland surpassed its goal of planting five million trees by 2015. Since setting that goal in 2010, the brand has supported the planting of over six million trees, with over 1.5 million trees planted in 2014 - primarily in China, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Since 2001, Timberland has planted more than 7.3 million trees.
- Having reached these two milestones, the brand is now formalizing its next set of goals for driving meaningful impact in the communities where it does business. 2020 targets and goals will be published later in the year.
PRODUCT – Driving sustainable style with increased use of recycled materials while addressing challenges in use of organic material.
- In 2014, 79 percent of Timberland® footwear incorporated Renewable, Organic, or Recycled (ROR) materials, up from 70 percent in 2013. The brand’s leading recycled material, found in over 14 million pairs, is recycled polyester (PET) found in plastic bottles. In 2014, over 1.25 million pounds of recycled PET was incorporated into Timberland® footwear - the equivalent of 57 million plastic bottles. Since 2009, the brand has given more than 185 million plastic bottles a new life in footwear.
- Timberland also continued to increase its use of recycled rubber in footwear. In 2014, the brand produced 6.9 million pairs of footwear made with outsoles containing up to 42% recycled rubber, bringing the total to 19.9 million pairs through 2014 (up from 13 million pairs through 2013).
- Continuing the brand’s commitment to materials innovation, this month Timberland launched Timberland Tires in partnership with global tire designer and manufacturer Omni United (S) Pte. Ltd.. Timberland Tires are the first line of tires purposely created to be recycled into footwear outsoles at the end of their journey on the road. The goal of this innovative cross-industry partnership, first announced in November 2014, is to create a more sustainable life cycle for rubber.
- In apparel, Timberland ended 2014 with 18.8 percent of all materials used (by weight) incorporating ROR content, vs. 36.7 percent in 2013. A renewed strategy has been put in place to increase ROR use in apparel over the next five years. In addition, Timberland is exploring ways to collaborate with industry partners on initiatives to further the incorporation of more sustainable cotton into its products and the industry. 2020 goals will be published later this year.
- Timberland ended 2014 with over 99 percent of footwear leather volume being sourced from tanneries that achieved a Gold or Silver rating by the Leather Working Group (LWG). The LWG is an independent group of tanneries and footwear brands that has established a protocol to assess the environmental performance of tanneries, and to promote sustainable and appropriate environmental practices within the leather tanning industry.
- Timberland continues its commitment to having PVC-free products. In 2014, only 1.8 percent of total pairs of footwear shipped contained PVC, compared with 8.9 percent in 2013. The brand has been challenged to reach its goal of being 100 percent PVC-free due to the lack of alternative solutions that meet the stringent performance needs in its Timberland PRO®line of industrial boots. The brand continues to actively seek material substitutions in pursuit of this goal.
FACTORIES – Partnering with the right factories; supporting workers beyond factory walls.
- Timberland sourced from a total of 368 suppliers in 2014. Timberland has published its factory list since 2008, with quarterly updates. To download a complete factory list, go to http://responsibility.timberland.com/factories/?story=1. All Timberland direct manufacturers and key material suppliers are audited for social and environmental compliance by VF Corporation (the brand’s parent company). For aggregate audit results of the Timberland suppliers, visit http://responsibility.timberland.com/reporting/goals-and-progress/#csr-factory_assessment_percent.
- At the close of 2014, 63 percent of Timberland's global footwear and apparel production had come from factories that had demonstrated effective environmental management practices (up from 59 percent in 2013), and 73 percent of production came from factories with demonstrated social/labor management systems (up from 70 percent in 2013). The brand uses the management systems assessment tools developed by the Global Social Compliance Program (GSCP) and Social Accountability International’s (SAIs) Social Fingerprint® to evaluate suppliers’ environmental and social/labor management systems.
- Going beyond compliance, part of Timberland’s commitment to responsible business involves a focus on supporting workers beyond factory walls, championing programs such as access to clean drinking water and affordable health services. Timberland has a team of experts committed to monitoring conditions in the factories it works with as well as sourcing materials in a responsible manner. In 2014, Timberland partnered with Planet Water Foundation to install clean water towers in the Dominican Republic and implement healthcare improvement programs with BSR HERproject in Bangladesh. Since 2008, Timberland has initiated 49 sustainable living projects with factory communities across five countries. For more about these initiatives, visit http://responsibility.timberland.com/factories/?story=1#sustainable-living.
CLIMATE – Energy management in owned and operated facilities around the globe.
- The management and tracking of the carbon emissions associated with owned and operated facilities was transitioned to VF Corporation in 2013. In this reporting structure, data related to Timberland’s emissions will be reported separately in Q3 2015.
Timberland has examined its progress and challenges for 2014 and is already implementing improvements in pursuit of its 2015 CSR performance goals. This summer, the brand is also slated to announce its sustainability targets for 2020, including a new approach to setting environmental standards across all its product categories.
“Timberland has a longstanding commitment to sustainability, which goes well beyond environmental stewardship,” said Stewart Whitney, president, Timberland. “In our view, sustainability also relates to how we make our products, how we manage our supply chain, and how we support the communities where we do business. As we look to 2015 and beyond, we’re ratcheting up our commitment in these areas, seeking innovative - and measurable - new ways to do well while also doing good. That’s how we’ll continue to build this great brand around the globe.”
To review the full 2014 results, visit http://responsibility.timberland.com/reporting/goals-and-progress/#csr-service_hours.
Timberland, a brand of VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), is a global leader in the design, engineering and marketing of premium-quality footwear, apparel and accessories for consumers who value the outdoors and their time in it. Timberland markets products under the Timberland®, Timberland PRO®, and Timberland Boot Company® brands, all of which offer quality workmanship and detailing and are built to withstand the elements of nature. Timberland® products are sold throughout the world in leading department and specialty stores as well as company-owned retail locations and online. Timberland’s dedication to making quality products is matched by its commitment to “doing well and doing good” -- forging powerful partnerships among employees, consumers and service partners to transform the communities in which they live and work. To learn more about Timberland, please visit www.timberland.com.
Katie Goudey, 617-939-8435