Timberland 2017 CSR Report Shows Steady Progress Toward 2020 Sustainability Goals

Global outdoor lifestyle brand highlights performance across key CSR pillars

SOURCE: Timberland


STRATHAM, N.H., April 12, 2018 /3BL Media/ - Global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland today releases its 2017 corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, showing steady progress toward its 2020 goals, which fall into three core pillars: make products responsibly; protect and enhance the outdoors; and serve communities. The results further demonstrate the company’s longstanding commitment to innovate and operate in a responsible manner.  

“We’re proud to celebrate the progress we’ve made in the past year, especially our efforts to incorporate more sustainable cotton in our apparel,” said Colleen Vien, director of sustainability for Timberland. “But at Timberland we have a commitment to sustainability and responsibility that goes well beyond the products we make. That’s what makes us Earthkeepers. In our view, responsibility also means protecting and enhancing the outdoors, and the communities around the world where we live, work and explore.”

Highlights of Timberland’s progress and opportunities in 2017 include:


  • Timberland set a goal to have 100 percent of its apparel cotton come from organic, U.S.-origin or Better Cotton Initiative-certified sources by 2020. The company made great strides in 2017, reaching 81 percent - a 40 percent increase over 2016 (58 percent). To advance this progress, the brand continued its work in Haiti with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) to bring cotton back as an export crop for the country. The SFA harvested its first cotton test crops in 2017 and Timberland has committed to purchase up to one-third of its global cotton supply from the SFA, once there is sufficient volume and subject to achieving price and quality requirements. 
  • In 2017, Timberland raised the bar and changed its method of reporting the use of material containing recycled, organic or renewable (ROR) content. From 2011 to 2016, all materials were reported, including those used in minor components such as webbings, trims and labels. To drive focus toward using ROR materials in more significant components of footwear (e.g., uppers, linings, soles), the company is no longer including minor components in its reporting. As such, materials with at least 10 percent ROR content were used in 67 percent of all Timberland® footwear shipped in 2017. The company remains confident it will reach its 2020 goal for 100 percent of footwear to include at least one significant component containing ROR content, even with these more stringent requirements, and believes this change in reporting will lead to increased overall usage of ROR content across the business.
  • Timberland also continued to increase its use of recycled PET, incorporating over 890,232 pounds of recycled PET into its footwear in 2017, or the equivalent of 40 million plastic bottles. This reflects an increase of 3 million plastic bottles over 2016.
  • Last year, Timberland set a new commitment to eliminate per-fluorinated compounds (PFCs) completely from durable water repellants (DWR) used in its products by 2020. Timberland has made significant efforts over the past several years to eliminate PFC-based DWR treatments from its top volume waterproof footwear leathers, and is actively seeking non-PFC chemical innovations for its remaining footwear products. Challenges in this effort relate to ensuring that such alternatives can deliver the required performance attributes. For 2017, the company reported that 91 percent of its footwear DWRs were non-PFC. 


  • In 2017, Timberland celebrated the 25th Anniversary of its Path of Service™ employee volunteer program, which provides employees with up to 40 paid community service hours each year. In celebration, Timberland launched a 25 Days of Summer Service Challenge to encourage volunteerism and connect employees with service opportunities that speak to their passions, in addition to its year-round service events and activities.
  • Around the world, Timberland employees served 56,033 community service hours in 2017, a seven percent increase over 2016. The company remains committed to create more opportunities and projects to engage employees at all of its location to reach its goal of 80 percent engagement in service (at least one hour served per employee) by 2020.
  • Timberland’s manufacturing facility in the Dominican Republic led the way with 8,596 service hours -- an increase of 46 percent over 2016. The facility worked to engage new employees in service, and also organized department events so employees of all levels could serve side by side.


  • Timberland planted a total of 413,757 trees in 2017, putting the brand at a total of 9,654,820 to date and in a strong position to exceed its goal of 10 million trees by 2020. Though not included in this metric, an additional 800,000 trees were planted in Haiti through the innovative agroforestry model created by Timberland in partnership with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance. The brand has played a crucial role in helping to reforest Haiti, while also creating a brighter future for 3,000+ smallholder farmers. This agroforestry model is now being replicated to bring cotton farming back to Haiti after a 30-year hiatus, while at the same time planting millions more trees.
  • Timberland’s commitment to protect and enhance the outdoors includes a focus on creating and restoring urban green spaces in key regions, including the United States and Europe. In the U.S., Timberland has committed to match its retail floor space in five cities over five years, with the creation or restoration of an equivalent amount of green space in that city. In 2017, the initiative’s second year, Timberland transformed a section of an abandoned railway in Philadelphia into a new city green space known as the Rail Park, which will open to the public in Spring 2018. In partnership with the Center City District Foundation, approximately 100 volunteers, including Timberland employees and partners from Journeys, KicksUSA and Urban Outfitters, transformed roughly 25,000 square feet of landscaping at the Rail Park.

About Timberland

Timberland is a global leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of premium footwear, apparel and accessories for the outdoor lifestyle. Best known for its original yellow boot introduced in 1973, Timberland today outfits consumers from toe-to-head, with versatile collections that reflect the brand’s rich heritage of craftsmanship, function and style. Timberland markets lifestyle products under the Timberland® and Timberland Boot Company® brands, and industrial footwear and workwear under the Timberland PRO® brand. Its products are sold throughout the world in leading department and specialty stores as well as company-owned retail locations and online. Timberland’s dedication to making quality products is matched by an unwavering commitment to environmental and social responsibility – to make things better for its products, the outdoors, and communities around the globe. To learn more about Timberland, a brand of VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), please visit timberland.com or follow us along the modern trail @timberland.

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Contact Info:

Maggie Benoit
Cone Communications
+1 (617) 939-8329

KEYWORDS: Timberland

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