Outdoor lifestyle brand reports results and challenges in reaching milestones across key CSR pillars

Timberland x Thread

STRATHAM, N.H., April 6, 2017 – As a global outdoor lifestyle brand, Timberland has always been driven by a commitment to innovate and operate in a responsible manner – in terms of its products, the outdoors and the communities around the globe where it operates. Today, as the company tracks against its 2020 goals, Timberland unveils its 2016 corporate social responsibility report, sharing progress on its five-year performance targets against three core CSR pillars – product, outdoors and community.

“At Timberland, our philosophy to be Earthkeepers drives everything we do, which means as our business continues to grow, we strive to find efficiencies and new innovations to meet our sustainability goals,” said Colleen Vien, director of sustainability for Timberland. “While we made several positive steps toward our 2020 goals in the last year, there are a few challenges that Timberland -- and the industry more broadly -- needs to focus on to find solutions to overcome.”

Highlights of Timberland’s progress and opportunities in 2016 include:


  • Last year, Timberland set a new goal to have 100 percent of apparel cotton come from organic, US-origin or Better Cotton Initiative-certified sources by 2020. In 2016, the company reached 58 percent. To support this effort, Timberland is also exploring a pilot program in Haiti with the potential to include smallholder farmer-grown cotton from Haiti in its future supply chain, following positive results of a cotton feasibility study released late last year. This builds on a sustainable business and export model developed for limes and moringa through a five-year partnership Timberland formed in Haiti with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance. Under this model, which has the potential to someday be replicated for cotton, farmers voluntarily tend to a network of nurseries that produce up to one million trees annually.
  • 2016 results for polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-free footwear remained flat at 98 percent. The company continues to seek a PVC-free material substitute that meets stringent performance expectations for its Timberland PRO® line, and to review materials and manufacturing equipment updates to reach its 2020 goal of 100 percent PVC-free footwear.
  • In 2016, 84 percent of Timberland® footwear included at least one material containing recycled, organic or renewable (ROR) content. Timberland aims for 100 percent of footwear to include at least one material containing ROR by 2020, and the company will leverage new innovations such as its 2017 launch of the Timberland X Thread collection, in working toward its five-year goals.
  • A new commitment for Timberland is to eliminate per-fluorinated compounds (PFCs) completely from durable water repellants used in its products by 2020. The company will continue working with supplier partners, its parent company VF Corporation, and the industry to make progress toward this goal.


  • In 2016, Timberland planted 500,000 trees around the globe, working toward a goal of 10 million trees planted by 2020. The company has planted 9.2 million trees since 2001, with this year’s annual tree planting efforts planned primarily in the Dominican Republic and China.
  • Timberland’s commitment to protect and enhance the outdoors includes a focus on urban greening in key regions including the United States and Europe, engaging consumers in an effort to create and restore urban green spaces. In the U.S., Timberland is matching 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 2016, the initiative’s inaugural year, Timberland restored a community garden in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx, New York. The new garden’s footprint of 32,000 square feet far exceeded Timberland New York retail footprint of 9,000 square feet. In 2017, the brand will focus on Philadelphia. 


  • In 2016, engaging employees in service was more of a challenge than previous years, with 41 percent of Timberland employees serving at least one hour of community service, compared to 76 percent the previous year. The decrease was largely impacted by limited service opportunities at Timberland’s Dominican Republic manufacturing facility which claims Timberland’s largest employee population. To address this shortfall, Timberland is looking to identify and develop new service opportunities that are less disruptive to the workday for employees in that facility. Timberland has a longstanding heritage in employee volunteerism and remains focused on creating more opportunities and projects to engage employees to reach its goal of 80 percent by 2020.
  • This year, Timberland will continue to create service opportunities worldwide while celebrating the 25th Anniversary of its Path of Service™ employee volunteer program, which provides employees with up to 40 hours paid community service hours each year.

Data related to 2016 greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy usage is being compiled and will be released with Timberland’s Q2 CSR Report.

To see more of the brand’s CSR and sustainability initiatives and for more information on how Timberland is working to be a more responsible business, visit responsibility.timberland.com.


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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For more information, please contact:
Katie Goudey | Cone Communications
(617) 939-8435

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