Timberland Sustainability Report: Absolute Emissions Increase 4.5%
Clothing brand Timberland’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 4.5 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to its 2011 corporate social responsibility report. The company says this is a “near constant” result when compared to its financial performance, although the report doesn’t include any raw data on business growth in 2011.
In total, 2011 saw Timberland emit 16,482 metric tons of carbon, up from 15,769 metric tons in 2010. The company exceeded it 2011 target emissions of 15,870 metric tons, according to the progress update – which is published online as part of the company’s CSR portal, rather than in PDF form as most company’s sustainability reports are. The firm launched the portal last year.
Timberland attributes the rise in emissions to an increase in employee air travel. Emissions from air travel rose from 3,943 metric tons in 2010 to 4,950 metric tons in 2011. In 2012, Timberland has pledged to experiment with carbon budgeting to alleviate emissions increases from air travel.
Timberland’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions decreased by 2.4 percent against 2010 levels, the report says.
Emissions from factories in Timberland’s supply chain increased 12.3 percent year-on-year, but emissions those factories emitted while producing Timberland products fell 5.5 percent over the same time period. In 2010 Timberland’s supply chain factories produced a total of 464,647 metrics tons of CO2, and that figure rose to 522,238 in 2011. But many of those factories also produce products for other brands, and emissions related directly to production of Timberland products fell from 39,087 in 2010 to 36,950 in 2011.
In 2010 the company drew 12.95 percent of its energy from renewable sources. That figure rose to 15.02 percent in 2011, meeting the company’s target of 15 percent. Timberland’s renewable energy sourcing has shown a general upward trend since 2006’s figure of 5.73 percent. The company is targeting sourcing 19 percent of its energy from renewable sources in 2012 and 30 percent by 2015. But it says it prioritizes energy-efficiency projects to achieve emission reductions, over more pricey renewable energy projects.
Starting in 2010, Timberland adopted the environmental framework and scoring methodology of the Global Social Compliance Program in assessments of its factories’ environmental performance. It is unclear whether 9 percent or 7 percent of Timberland’s factories met GSCP Level 2 in 2011, due to conflicting figures on the company’s CSR Web portal and a scorecard published within the Web site. Level 2 demonstrates “Proactive Management and Performance Improvement,” the report says.
What is clear is that the company did not meet its 2011 target of having 20 percent of its factories at that level in 2011. The company is targeting having 40 percent of its factories at GSCP Level 2 in 2012 and 100 percent by 2015.
To improve performance in this metric, Timberland has pledged to clarify goals and offer financial incentives for factories that failed to attain the target in 2011.
Last year, 47 percent of the company’s factories did not meet its minimum standards of responsible sourcing, beating the 2011 target by 1 percentage point. It hopes to get this figure down to 43.5 percent in 2012 and down further to 30 percent by 2015.
For the 58.6 percent of Timberland footwear monitored in 2011, over half of materials were recycled, organic or renewable, the report says. In 2011, five percent of Timberland’s products were rated under the Green Index system. Timberland’s goal is to have Green Index ratings on 100 percent of its footwear line by the end of 2012.
Timberland uses solvents, many of which contain volatile organic compounds, in its shoe-making operations. In 2011, the company produced 61.6 grams of VOCs per pair of shoes., down from 63.1 grams in 2010. Its target for 2015 is 42 grams of VOCs per pair of shoe.
In December, Timberland was named the third best company for climate responsibility, in the Climate Counts 2011 review. The apparel brand jumped from fourth place in 2010, as Nike moved from the top spot to fourth. Timberland was also named in Ethisphere’s 2012 list of most ethical companies.
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