As concerns about global warming and its impact on the environment increase, The Timberland Company is focusing its annual Earth Day activities on initiatives to help protect and preserve one of our greatest natural resources – water. Recent research suggests that if nothing is done to protect and preserve global waters, seven billion people in 60 countries will face moderate to severe water scarcity in the decades to come.

Continuing a tradition of global volunteerism, Timberland employees, along with community partners, consumers and retail customers, will celebrate Earth Day in 26 countries at 140 service locations from New York City to Hong Kong and Paris to Madrid by hosting and participating in community service events. The nearly 7,000 volunteers at Timberland's Earth Day events will serve an estimated 46,000 hours.

“Poor water quality has dramatic negative impacts on human health, natural habitats and bio-diversity; fortunately, it's an issue we can all help to improve,” said Jeffrey Swartz, Timberland's President and CEO. “Although Timberland's commitment to environmental stewardship is year-round, Earth Day gives us an occasion to focus on the importance of our world's water supply and other natural resources, and our ability to better preserve them.”

This year, Timberland's Earth Day projects are designed to help restore habitats that filter and store fresh water in communities where the company's retail stores, factories and distribution centers are located. Volunteers will also clean up debris along oceans and rivers to decrease the erosion of shorelines caused by pollution. Examples of service events taking place around the globe include:

New York, New York: Reducing soil erosion along the banks of the Bronx River by removing invasive plant species and planting native vegetation.

Santiago, Dominican Republic: Increasing the potable drinking water supply by constructing a water filtration system.

London, England: Preserving the water quality of the Thames River by removing litter and pollution along riverbanks.

Hong Kong: Improving the local ecosystem and reducing soil erosion by clearing invasive plant species and planting native vegetation.

At 25 Earth Day events across the U.S., Timberland volunteers will be joined by local students as part of the company's “Adopt-a-School” program. Now in its third year, the Adopt-a-School program is designed to inspire our next generation to think about issues of environmental sustainability and engage them in community service as a means to make a positive difference.

Timberland has launched several other recent initiatives as part of its corporate commitment to reduce its environmental footprint. The company has just completed a solar panel installation at its Ontario, California distribution center which will generate 60% of that facility's energy needs. Additionally, Timberland recently announced a new environmentally-friendly packaging and labeling initiative that will debut later this year, including boxes that use 100 percent recycled post-consumer waste fiber; soy-based inks and no chemical glues. Boxes will also feature a “nutritional” label to inform consumers about the environmental and community impact created by the manufacture of that product. Timberland's environmental stewardship is also translated through its product development, manufacturing and green building initiatives, distribution logistics and non-profit partnerships.