Timberland Reduces GHG Emissions 36%

by | Apr 8, 2010

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TimberlandRenewableEnergyThe Timberland Company has reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 36 percent in 2009 over its 2006 baseline from Timberland owned and operated facilities and employee air travel, according to the company’s quarterly CSR report. The footwear manufacturer says it’s on track to reach its goal of a 50 percent emissions reduction by the end of 2010.

The company attributes the emissions reduction to increased energy efficiency at its retail locations, use of renewable energy at its distribution facilities and decreased employee air travel.

As an example, Timberland claims to be the first company to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Retail certification for mall-based stores. All of its new stores in North America are built to LEED specs and incorporate LED lighting.

In addition, Timberland sourced approximately 12 percent renewable energy globally in 2009. The company uses primarily solar power in its Ontario, Calif., distribution center and 100 percent wind power at its Enschede, Netherlands site. In 2009, Timberland’s Danville, Ky., distribution center began purchasing locally produced renewable electricity.

Timberland employees also now consider using virtual presence and Web conferencing to reduce the amount of air travel.

To further reduce emissions, Timberland is working with supply chain partners to help reduce their emissions. As an example, Timberland’s Green Index rating system tool helps product developers choose less carbon intensive materials at the design stage, while giving consumers information about the environmental footprint of the footwear.

Timberland also introduced a carbon management toolkit in 2010 that helps factory management understand the sources of energy consumption and strategies to reduce it. The company also makes modal shifts for product transportation from factories to distribution centers to lower fuel costs and GHG emissions.

Timberland also exceeded its public commitment to source 10 percent organic cotton, reaching 38 percent usage in 2009. The company plans to set new targets for organic cotton, and introduce reporting and targets for recycled and renewable materials.

Timberland introduced its first recyclable footwear last year.

The company has also increased its sourcing from environmentally-responsible tanneries, and is on track to meet its goal to source only from tanneries that are silver certified by the Leather Working Group (LWG) by the end of 2010. Nearly 60 percent of the 27 tanneries that Timberland sources from scored silver or better on audits conducted by LWG.

In July last year, Timberland, along with Adidas, agreed to stop using leather imported from cattle raised on former Amazon rainforest lands.

Most recently, Timberland became one of the six charter members of the Climate Counts Industry Innovators (i2) project.

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