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Timberland’s sustainability goals for 2020


Timberland’s goals for 2020

Timberland footprint in the sand

Imagine a whole week of work and a sunny Sunday to end it. Imagine that one is able to spend that free time relaxing on a lakeside, or walking through a mountain pass – or even, for those who can’t leave the city, enjoying the day under a tree in the closest park. To jump out of bed full of energy, put on a pair of comfortable shoes and sling a backpack over your shoulder to walk towards new horizons. A set of new horizons to be discovered but mostly to be protected for future generations to appreciate them. It is for this latter reason that Timberland decided to team up with associations, companies, and people en-gaged in restoring a balance between mankind and nature.

Timberland announced ambitious goals for its products manufacturing in terms of sustai-nability and environmental impact, so to act coherently with its own beliefs. The company set the deadline for 2020 for its projects (such as the 100% eco-friendly cotton and lea-ther use, the relinquishment of PVC, and the decision to plant up to 10 millions of new trees in the next two years).

The goals have been split into three macro-areas of interventions: product, environment and community. The first including all the necessary expedients to reduce the environmen-tal impact for the different productions as close as possible to zero, the second being a strong commitment to the process of reforestation and reappropriation of green areas in cities, the third interesting the Timberland employees involvement in activities beneficial for the community.

Timberland decided to focus in particular on 100% eco-sustainability success in manufac-turing therefore every product will represent the immediate and concrete action for preser-ving the environment. In the next two years the cotton will be fully supplied by certified US industries or those adhering to the Better Cotton low-impact programme (for which, in 2017 was registered at 81%). In addition to the American supply, Timberland decided to unify the environmental and humanitarian cause by setting a partnership with the Smallholder Farmer Alliances of Haiti (an organization that supports small and medium farmers’ realities in Haiti). Following the 2017 harvest debut, the company decided to im-port from SFA’S 34.000 farmers a third of the cotton supply needed for the world oriented production.

As much as for cotton, leather is a fundamental material employed by Timberland in its ar-ticles of clothing. Timberland’s goal for 2020 is for the leather supply to only come from suppliers awarded with Silver or Gold evaluation – best one can receive – from the Leather Working Group. The Leather Working Group develops environmental protocols and moni-tors the implementation of the same in the leather industry through regular checks.

As for the shoes sector, the goal set for 2020 is to have at least one ROR component in each shoes design. The eco-friendly ROR acronym – in Italian – stands for: riciclabile, or-ganico e rinnovabile; literally, recyclable, organic and renewable. All the footwear produced in Timberland’s stores will have to be at least 10% ROR composed by 2020. Such a goal might be a modest one, nonetheless it is a fundamental improvement in stimulating the general adoption of these materials in the whole fashion industry.

A whole green production is defined also through the manufacturing details of clothes, and for this reason Timberland is willing to let go completely on chemical water repellent products containing PFC (fluorocarbons that are potent greenhouse gases). Even the adoption of PVC, one of the most used plastic materials, has been almost completely abandoned. In order to fight back the plastic emissions, the one employed by Timberland is obtained by disposed plastic bottles: 40 millions of plastic bottles were converted into shoes in 2017 by the company (3 millions more than the previous year). The volume of re-cycled plastic by Timberland nowadays amounts to 270 millions.

It is from the desire of making tangible the value of nature in everyday life that Timberland decided to regenerate green areas in urban environment in Europe and the US. This pro-ject, started in 2015, continues in focusing the efforts of retraining annually selected ci-ties. In 2017, Timberland employees teamed up with Journeys, KicksUSA, and Urban Out-fitters employees to contribute in the regeneration of a 2300 square meters area in Phila-delphia. The area, namely Rail Park, will reopen a few weeks from now.

Regardless of its strong American identity, Timberland’s approach towards environment is profoundly global: 10 millions of new trees will be planted by 2020. In 2017 only, almost 414000 were planted bringing up to a total of 9,654,820 from 2001 – a success that is making the company consider increasing their engagement for the incoming years. The shared numbers are not comprehensive of the 800000 plants growing in Haiti thanks to the involvement of the SFA wanted by Timberland. The agroforestry program combined the necessity for reinstating green areas with the cotton cultivation, employing more than 3000 farmers.