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Timberland releases environmental report card


STRATHAM, N.H. — Timberland has released its 2012 CSR performance data, showcasing the company's sustainability efforts for that year.

Among those efforts were the following:

• 39% of materials used in Timberland-branded apparel were derived from recycled, organic or renewable sources

• 98% of footwear SKUs used leather sourced from gold or silver rated tanneries

• Absolute carbon emissions for Timberland's owned and operated facilities decreased by 10% in 2012; and 46% since 2006

• The company has planted 3.5 million trees since 2010, of which employees and partners planted 1,153,840 trees in 2012, toward the company's goal of planting 5 million trees by 2015.

"The benefits that trees provide in the form of helping to prevent desertification, increase yields of farm crops and reduce the effects of droughts are critical to communities everywhere," said Mark Newton, VP of corporate social responsibility. "As a New England brand known for making products built to enjoy the outdoors, it's only natural that we do what we can to protect the environment."

In 2012, Timberland focused its environmental stewardship efforts in Haiti and China's Horqin Desert, areas dramatically affected by massive deforestation and desertification, respectively. In Haiti, Timberland's long-term agroforestry initiative has become self-sustaining, and by the end of 2012, it generated increased crop yields of up to 50% for participating farmers who sold excess inventory for profit. On the other side of the world, Timberland has cultivated more than 255,000 trees in China's environmentally fragile Horqin Desert to protect China and neighboring countries from sandstorms and to help minimize the impact of global warming.

The company insists that its sustainability efforts are not limited to tree planting. The company says it plans to reduce impacts in its four CSR pillar areas: climate, product, factories and service.

Timberland reduced its absolute carbon emissions for its owned and operated facilities to 15,819 metric tons, a 10% decrease from 17,759 metric tons in 2011. The decrease was primarily driven by reductions in air travel and increased renewable energy purchases. The decrease exceeded Timberland's 2012 goal, resulting in a 46% reduction of absolute emissions since 2006, putting Timberland well on track to achieve its overall emissions reduction goal of 50% by 2015.

In 2012, Timberland furthered its "beyond factory walls" approach to social and environmental impacts in its supply chain through a variety of projects that promote the welfare of employees and their communities. Projects supported by Timberland this year included parenting skills and stress management training in China, a community child care center and financial literacy programs in India and clean drinking water towers in northern Vietnam.

Timberland employees completed 81,921 hours of community service in 2012. Many of those hours were dedicated to the company's two major service events — Serv-a-palooza, Timberland's annual global community service event, and Earth Day — and involved thousands of employees and guests in service projects around the world. This is part of the company's 20-year tradition of giving employees up to 40 hours of paid time to engage in community service each year.

"Timberland embeds sustainability into its strategic business objectives, an approach we find highly effective," added Newton. "To meet those objectives, we must hold our company accountable for its actions through transparent reporting."

Timberland, a wholly owned subsidiary of VF Corporation, is a global designer, engineer and marketer of footwear, apparel and accessories for consumers. It operates under the Timberland, Timberland Pro and Timberland Boot Company brands. The company's products can be found in leading department and specialty stores as well as Timberland retail stores throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, South America, South Africa and the Middle East.

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