The Timberland Company announced it has achieved an industry-leading 38 percent absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as of the end of 2010. In 2006, Timberland established a five-year, 50 percent reduction goal for absolute emissions associated with its owned and operated facilities and employee air travel. Since then, the company has been significantly cutting its emissions.
“While the net result for 2010 was positive, we fell short of meeting our 50 percent reduction goal. However, we are still planning to achieve this goal by 2015, and to go even further,” said Betsy Blaisdell, senior manager, environmental stewardship. “2010 was not a typical year. The rebound of our business resulted in an increase in employee travel, and record temperatures, both highs and lows, contributed to increased energy use.”
“Timberland's achievement of a 38 percent reduction in absolute emissions and its future goal to reduce 50 percent of emissions by 2015 surpasses the expectation Ceres set forth in our Roadmap for Sustainability — further demonstrating the company's commitment to lead the way towards a sustainable economy,” stated Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a national coalition of investors, environmental and public interest groups working with companies to address climate change.
Timberland'takes a three-pronged approach for its owned and operated facilities:
- Energy efficiency upgrades — such as retrofitting facilities with LED lighting and employing LEED standards for store design
- Purchasing renewable energy — in 2010, 13 percent of Timberland's energy came from renewable sources
- Reductions in employee travel — the company encourages employees to seek practical alternatives when considering their travel needs
Timberland has significantly reduced its energy demand and emissions for its owned and operated facilities and employee air travel. Meeting the carbon neutral goal required an offset purchase for the emissions it wasn't able to eliminate in 2010. The purchased offsets have been used to support the development of a wind farm in Shangyi County, China, which was chosen because of the desire to find ways to reduce the emissions associated with Timberland's footwear supply chain, which is mainly based in China and Southeast Asia.
“Beginning in 2010, Timberland began investing more resources in the direct management of carbon in our supply chain. The company will pursue this strategy, versus large offset purchases, going forward,” Blaisdell said.
Timberland's commitment to climate change stems from its long-held values of environmental stewardship and the belief that reducing risk, cutting energy costs, and meeting consumer demand for products with smaller carbon footprints is smart business.
Beyond employing its strategy aimed at owned and operated facilities and employee travel, which account for just 4 percent of Timberland's total carbon footprint, the company is also committed to addressing climate impacts and reducing emissions throughout the supply chain. The company will accomplish this by using its proprietary Green Indexï¿½ rating system to design products with fewer climate impacts and by helping its supply chain partners to reduce their own footprints.
Timberland has already been working with its contract factories to help them understand the business case for carbon management and encourage better practices. “This won't be easy, given the lack of direct control we have in our supply chain,” states Timberland CEO Jeff Swartz. “But we are committed to doing whatever possible to continually reduce our climate impacts and be a catalyst within and beyond our industry for others to do the same.”