US: Timberland makes "notable strides" in sustainability
Timberland says it made "many notable strides" last year in boosting the sustainability of its business, including the use of more recycled, organic or renewable sources in its apparel and footwear.
According to the company's just-released 2012 CSR performance data, 39% of materials used in Timberland apparel were derived from recycled, organic or renewable sources. This compares with 25% in 2011.
And 98% of footwear SKUs used leather sourced from tanneries rated gold or silver by the Leather Working Group for their water, energy and waste management practices.
Timberland, a wholly owned subsidiary of VF Corporation, reduced the absolute carbon emissions for its owned and operated facilities from 17,759 metric tons in 2011 to 15,819 metric tons in 2012, a drop of 10%. This was mainly driven by reductions in air travel and increased renewable energy purchases.
The results mean the company has cut absolute emissions by 46% since 2006 - putting it well on track to achieve its overall emissions reduction goal of 50% by 2015.
Other efforts saw it plant more than 1.15m trees last year, taking the total planted since 2010 to 3.5m. The company aims to plant 5m trees by 2015.
"The benefits that trees provide in the form of helping to prevent desertification, increase yields of farm crops and reduce the effects of droughts are critical to communities everywhere," explains Mark Newton, vice president of corporate social responsibility.
"As a New England brand known for making products built to enjoy the outdoors, it's only natural that we do what we can to protect the environment."
Other initiatives are designed to reduce impacts in each of its CSR strategy's four pillars: climate, product, factories and service.
Projects supported by Timberland "beyond factory walls" in its supply chain included parenting skills and stress management training in China, a community child care centre and financial literacy programmes in India, and clean drinking water towers in northern Vietnam.
The company also launched SAI's (Social Accountability International's) Social Fingerprint tool for benchmarking and guiding factories in developing best-in-class social/labour management systems.
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