Timberland plans to expand the company’s Green Index label from 14 percent to 100 percent of its Timberland branded footwear by the end of 2012. The outdoor footwear and apparel company also is collaborating with more than 200 outdoor businesses on an industry-wide eco-indexing standard that was announced during last week’s Outdoor Retailer Show.
The Green Index rating measures and reports on environmental impact in three key areas: climate impact (greenhouse gas emissions produced from raw material extraction through manufacturing), chemicals used (hazardous substances used in the production of products) and materials used (use of organic, recycled or renewable materials).
The Green Index score is based on Timberland’s initial product packaging and labeling initiative, launched in 2006, which was the first of its kind for the retail industry.
In addition to driving footwear designers to lessen the impact of their designs, the initiative also extends the company’s commitment to educating consumers on the environmental impact of its products, and to helping them make informed purchasing decisions, says Timberland.
Timberland says it is committed to setting targets to reduce the environmental impact of its products, and is in the process of establishing a reliable baseline for specific environmental indicators. The company expects to have baseline data by the end of 2011.
Timberland is working through the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) on the development of an industry standard for product footprinting called the Eco Index. While the Eco Index is not a consumer-facing label at this time, it will become the industry’s first standardized environmental assessment tool, according to the company.