STRATHAM, NH, (August 12, 2010) — The Timberland Company (NYSE: TBL), a leading outdoor footwear and apparel company, today announced plans to expand the company’s innovative Green Index® label to all Timberland branded footwear. In addition to expanding efforts to measure and communicate the environmental impact of its products, Timberland 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.
Timberland is currently applying a Green Index rating to 14 percent of its footwear; the company plans to apply the rating to 100 percent of its footwear by the end of 2012. Besides empowering 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.
Timberland is not alone in its pursuit of a more environmentally preferred approach to product development and transparency. The company is working through the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) on the development of an industry standard for product footprinting — 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.
“Individual efforts, like Timberland’s Green Index, are good options for now, but to truly empower consumers, we knew we needed a commitment from the entire industry,” said Betsy Blaisdell, senior manager of environmental stewardship for Timberland. “First mover companies only get so far — collaboration is integral to achieving a consumer-friendly, industry-wide standard, which is why we applaud the launch of the OIA Eco Index as a positive step in the right direction.”
Pioneering Product Transparency
Timberland is a pioneer in product transparency and labeling. In 2006, the company launched a new product packaging and labeling initiative, the first of its kind for the retail industry. It included the company’s “nutrition label,” which helps consumers understand more about where their product was manufactured, how it was produced and its impact on the environment. In the spring of 2007, Timberland took the nutrition label concept a step further and introduced the Green Index® score, to report on product-specific ratings for select environmental factors.
The Green Index rating measures and reports on environmental impact in three key areas:
- Climate impact: Measures greenhouse gas emissions produced from raw material extraction through manufacturing
- Chemicals used: Measures the presence of hazardous substances (solvent adhesives and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)) used in the production of products
- Materials used: Measures the use of organic, recycled or renewable
Timberland is committed to setting targets to reduce the environmental impact of its products. The company is in the process of establishing a reliable baseline for specific environmental indicators and, by the end of 2011, Timberland will have its baseline data.
Industry Standard Needed
While there is no industry standard for environmental labeling, which would allow consumers to compare the environmental impact of products across brands, Timberland is helping address this challenge through its work with the OIA. By contributing to the development of shared industry methodologies for measuring and sharing environmental impact, Timberland and the outdoor industry aim to support clearer communication of environmental impacts to both suppliers and customers.
Timberland believes that open, transparent communications about its business practices might encourage and inspire other brands to consider how they operate – and communicate about – their own business. As a result, the company’s Green Index ® methodology is available at www.Timberland.com for anyone to use and learn from.
Timberland (NYSE: TBL) is a global leader in the design, engineering and marketing of premium-quality footwear, apparel and accessories for consumers who value the outdoors and their time in it. Timberland markets products under the Timberland®, Timberland PRO®, Mountain Athletics®, SmartWool®, Timberland Boot Company®, Howies® and IPATH® brands, all of which offer quality workmanship and detailing and are built to withstand the elements of nature. The company’s products can be found in leading department and specialty stores as well as Timberland® retail stores throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, South Africa and the Middle East. Timberland’s dedication to making quality products is matched by the company’s commitment to “doing well and doing good" -- forging powerful partnerships among employees, consumers and service partners to transform the communities in which they live and work. To learn more about Timberland, please visit http://www.timberland.com/. To learn more about becoming an Earthkeeper, visit www.earthkeeper.com.