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How sustainable is Timberland ?

Timberland & sustainability


Timberland
First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 9 out of 36

Sustainability summary

Timberland has achieved the D-label. Timberland has started to take sustainability into account. Still, a lot more can be done.

Brand owner: VF Corporation
Head office: Greensboro, NC, USA
Sector: Sport & outdoor - clothing & shoes
Categories : Male, Female, Kids, Baby
Free Tags: VFC, Bags, Pullover, Shirts, Jackets, Jeans, Shoes, Boots

What's your sustainability news about Timberland?

Timberland sustainability score report

Last edited: 1 May 2017 by Stephanie B.
Last reviewed: 1 May 2017 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

2 out of 6
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Timberland implements several measures to reduce climate emissions, such as reducing their energy demand from employee travel, investing in renewable energy, and retrofitting facilities with energy efficiency upgrades. Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? Timberland reduced its own operations climate footprint (Scope 1 & 2) from 13,539 tons of CO2e in 2013 to 11,073 tons of CO2e in 2015, which represents a reduction of around 18,3% (see link, page 13). Source
3. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? In 2015, 32% of Timberland's total energy use came from renewable sources. It was generated onsite, sourced locally from renewable energy suppliers, or was offset with renewable energy credits. But, sources, types and additionality of supply is not clear enough specified. Also, share of green electricity remains unclear (see link at next question, page 14). Source
4. Does 100% of the electricity that the brand (company) uses for its ‘own operations’ come from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 3. Source
5. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? It was Timberlands' target to reduce its climate emissions of own operations by 50% by 2015 (base year 2006). But, Timberland does not communicate up to date target reductions that go beyond 2015, and only refers to energy use and renewable energy goals of its brand owner VFC (see link, page 13). Source
6. Does the brand (company) also have a policy to reduce/compensate carbon emissions generated from the product supply chain that is beyond own operations (Scope 3)? Timberland implements several measures to reduce climate emissions in the production chain that is beyond own operations. However, Timberland does not publish clear results, which include emission reductions achieved (see link, page 10). Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

5 out of 16
1. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 5% of its volume? Timberland mentions the total volume of environmentally preferred fibres used, such as organic or BCI cotton, or recycled polyester and rubber. However, it is not clear what percentage of the total annual volume this represents (see link, page 3-4). Source
2. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 10% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 25% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
4. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 50% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
5. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 75% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
6. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 90% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
7. Does the brand have a clear and effective policy to avoid the use of leather that originates from cattle farms in deforestated Amazone areas? Timberland announced a respective policy agreement with Greenpeace in 2009, and refers to the implementation of measures such as hide traceability. However, Timberland does not clearly communicate if sourcing leather originating from cattle farms in deforested Amazon areas is actually avoided (see link, page 2). Source
8. Does the brand (company) have a clear and effective policy to minimize environmental pollution of chromium and other harmful substances from leather tanning processes, e.g. by waste water treatment or by vegetable tanning? Timberland reports that 91.6% of leather sourced in Q3 2016 comes from Silver or Gold rated tanneries, according to the Leather Working Group (LWG) (see link, page 1-3). Source
9. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures to make the clothing and footwear? VFC (brand owner of Timberland) has standards for wastewater treatment in the production of all their products (Chem-IQ). VFC has also published its RSL (see link at Environmental question 11), and gives an annual (but superficial) overview of the progress (as of May 2016). Source
10. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least one suspect chemical group, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? Timberland communicates to be committed to the elimination of all PFCs in its waterproof footwear and apparel. But, it remains unclear whether other target chemical groups like phthalates or azo dyes can be considered entirely eliminated from the production of Timberland's entire garment production (see link, page 5). Source
11. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least three suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? See remark for environmental policy question 10. Source
12. Does the brand (company) have a clear target to phase out PVC in their products, and has the brand already achieved a PVC phase out level of more than 90%? Timberland reports a clear target to phase out PVC in all of their products, and has already achieved more than 90% PVC-free products (98,2% in 2015). Its Timberlands goal to be PVC-free by 2020 (see link, page 5). Source
13. Has the brand (company) a clear and effective policy to minimize the use of solvents based chemicals in their shoe production, and has the brand already achieved a level of average max. 40 grams of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions per pair of shoes? Timberland's achieved level of average Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions per pair of shoe is above the required 30 grams, namely 55 grams. By 2020, Timberland aims averaging 42 grams of VOCs per pair (see link, page 2). Source
14. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of its shipping packaging and carrier bags, by reducing, re-using, recycling and responsible sourcing of packaging materials, and does the brand annually report on these results? Timberland implements measures to minimize the environmental impact of its consumer packaging, such as using recycled materials for its footwear boxes and using water-based inks. But, concrete results regarding its consumer packaging materials footprint, including materials for carrier bags and shipping packaging, are not made public (see link, page 6 & 15). Source
15. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? Timberland does not report on the specific annual results of its waste reduction policy. However, brand owner VFC reports on its aggregate annual waste material footprint (more than 69,965 metric tons annually) (see also link at previous question, page 15). Source
16. Does the brand (company) encourage the return or re-use of garments? Timberland communicates to run a campaign ('Second Chance') to encourage consumers to recycle clothes (to bring worn shoes back into the store). This programme seems limited to some selected stores in Germany only. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

2 out of 14
1. Does the brand (company) have a supplier Code of Conduct (CoC) which includes the following standards: No forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace? Timberland Code of Conduct was replaced by VF’s Terms of Engagement and Global Compliance Principles. All standards are mentioned in VF Corporation's Global Compliance Principles. Source
2. Does this CoC include at least two of the following workers rights: 1. to have a formally registered employment relationship 2. to have a maximum working week of 48 hours with voluntary and paid overtime of 12 hours maximum 3. to have a sufficient living wage? 1. Not mentioned; 2. No, maximum working week of 60 hours, not clear whether overtime is voluntary and 'except under extraordinary business circumstances', which can mean anything; 3. No, mention of minimum legal or the prevailing industry wage, not living wage. Source
3. Does this Code of Conduct include the right for workers to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, the right to facilitate parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining? Freedom of association is mentioned, but nothing found about situations in which this right is restricted by law. Source
4. Does this labour conditions policy also apply further down the production chains, at least covering the leather production or the animal farms? Neither Timberland nor VFC make clear if the Global Compliance Principles and consequent labour conditions policy also applies further down the footwear production chain, such as leather tanning or cattle farms (see also link at previous question). Source
5. Does the brand (company) have a published list of direct suppliers, that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? Timberland has published the list of direct suppliers, effective by Q2 2015. Source
6. Is the brand (company) a member of a collective initiative that aims to improve labor conditions, or does the brand (company) purchase its supplies from accredited factories with improved labor conditions? VFC participates in a number of MSI's, such as FLA (but as a Category B Licensee only) and Social Accountability International (SAI / SA8000). However, concerning SA8000 neither VFC nor Timberland specify what percentage of factories/annual volume is certified (see link at next question, page 9). Source
7. Do independent civil society organizations like NGO's and labor unions have a decisive voice in this collective initiative or in these certification schemes? See remark for labor conditions policy question 6. Source
8. Is there a policy for the brand (company) for capacity building at the apparel manufacturers for improved labour practices? VFC implements its 'The Third Way' programme at strategic suppliers to improve labour practices, and for instance, to decrease absenteeism of workers. Results such as improved efficiency by 23% for cutting, 41% for sewing and 52% for finishing and product defects decreased by 8.5%, but not with respect to improved labour conditions itself. Source
9. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy? Is at least 90% of the brands production volume from apparel manufacturers monitored for labour conditions? Timberland sourced from a total of 435 factories in 2015. 364 audits were conducted by VFC at 326 of Timberland suppliers. Timberland provides audit results on a superficial level only. Also, it remains unclear whether at least 90% of Timberland's production volume for 2015 can be considered monitored (see link, page 8-10). Source
10. Is at least 25% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? Timberland communicates that according to VFC's Global Compliance Principles, 38% of its suppliers were rated as 'Accepted', 60% were 'Developmental', and 2% were 'Rejected'. However, it is not clear what part of the production is certified (e.g. SA8000) or otherwise independently verified (see link, page 8-10). Source
11. Is at least 50% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 10. Source
12. Does the brand (company) implement a policy to establish the payment of living wages at its apparel manufacturers? Are at least first living wage payments realised? Timberland mentions proper wages and benefits as the second most commonly observed issue, as well as there was a slight increase in minimum wage issues between 2014 and 2015 (+2%). Whether first living wage payments are realized is not yet specified however (see link, page 9). Source
13. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy for the leather, yarn and fabric production phases, including a reasonable overview of the number and region of workplaces covered by the policy in relation to the total production volume? Neither Timberland nor VFC publicly report clear results of its implemented measures to improve labor conditions at its fabric manufacturers. Source
14. Are at least 50% of the brand's leather, yarn and fabric production phases approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FLO-Cert, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 13. Source