Timberland pledges to 'preserve the outdoors' with fresh sustainability targets

Outdoor clothing company Timberland has set itself a new list of ambitious sustainability targets for 2020, including goals to plant 10 million trees and ensure that 50% of energy comes from renewable sources.

Timberland has unveiled 2015 CSR results as well as new five-year performance targets against the core pillars of product, outdoors and community

Timberland has unveiled 2015 CSR results as well as new five-year performance targets against the core pillars of product, outdoors and community

The environmental commitments were unveiled as part of the shoemaker's new five-year CSR performance targets against the three core pillars of product, outdoors and community.

Other targets for 2020 include 100% of footwear being made from at least one material containing recycled, organic or renewable (ROR) content; 95% waste diversion from landfill (with an ultimate goal of zero waste); and an objective for all leather to be sourced from tanneries that have earned a Gold or Silver rating from the Leather Working Group for following environmental best practice.

Timberland sustainability director Coleen Vien said: “At Timberland, we hold ourselves accountable for what goes into our products as well as how they’re made, and we’re constantly seeking innovative solutions to reduce their environmental impact.

"But it doesn’t stop with products. As an outdoor brand, we’ve always been willing to put a stake in the ground and push ourselves to protect and preserve the outdoors. We owe it to ourselves, to our consumers and to our planet.”

Video: Timberland's CSR ambitions


Timberland's 2015 CSR report shares sustainability performance results and key challenges addressed by the US company during the past 12 months.

Some noteworthy highlights for the outdoor-wear firm include the use of 834,000 pounds of recycled rubber in its footwear in 2015; and 84% of its footwear including at least one material containing ROR content. Additionally, a million pounds in weight of recycled PET was incorporated into Timberland footwear in 2015 – the equivalent of 47 million plastic water bottles.

However, Timberland failed to maintain its sustainability commitments in every department. Cost constraints led to the use of organic cotton in apparel declining slightly, from 19% in 2014 to 18% in 2015, while 'PVC-free' across all footwear and apparel results came in relatively flat compared to 2014, at 98%.


Despite the CSR report underlining some challenges still facing the company, the 2015 sustainability highlights and goals for 2020 reveal a heightened commitment from Timberland to operate in a sustainable manner.

The report follows a series of targets and green initiatives set out by the company as it strives to become a more responsible business. As an example, edie previously reported on the company joining forces with tyre manufacturer and distributor Omni United to produce an innovative line of tyres intended to be recycled into footwear out-soles once finished with on the road.

Timberland re-launched its 'Responsibility' website last month in a bid to take a more informative and engaging approach to broadcasting its progress on sustainability to consumers and other stakeholders.

Infographic: Timberland's new targets (credit: Business Wire)

George Ogleby


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