The Timberland Company plans to expand its “Green Index” to all its footwear by 2012, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The company's index rates the greenhouse gas emissions generated during a shoe's production, the hazardous chemicals used and the percentage of recycled, organic and renewable materials in each shoe. The information is displayed on tags consumers can use to gauge the product's environmental impact.
Timberland has been an early supporter and advocate of the open source Outdoor Industry Associatoin Eco Index, which aims to give manufacturers a set of tools they can use internally to measure the impact of individual products and then drive change through their supply change. OIA launched a pilot test of a beta form of the index at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market last week. Several European footwear brands are already piloting that index in Europe. The Eco Index could ultimately result in a consumer facing label.
“Individual efforts, like Timberland's Green Index, are good options for now, but to truly empower consumers, we knew we needed a commitment from the entire industry,” the Timberland's Betsy Blaisdell told the AP. A senior manager of environmental stewardship for Timberland, Blaisdell helped present the beta Eco Index to more than 300 product designers, suppliers and brand executives at OR last week.