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CLIMATE

Protecting the Outdoors
From shipping our products, to running our offices, to lighting our stores, there are many things we do that contribute to global warming. Taking steps to reduce our climate impacts and finding ways to encourage our partners to do the same is a tall task—but one that we’re up to.

 

 

 

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Our New BREEAM®-certified Distribution Center

Timberland relies on its European distribution center in Almelo, Holland to supply footwear, apparel, and accessories to all of its customers throughout Europe. The location has both business and environmental benefits, with easy access to the ports of Rotterdam to reduce emissions from trucking. We looked at inbound and outbound transportation costs, and chose a centralized location. We can get to the European market within two days of travel time, so it’s very beneficial for our customers.

To live up to the company’s environmental commitment, Timberland partnered with OVG re/developers, a Dutch developer with a proven track record in sustainable building construction. OVG re/developers wanted to build a ‘green’ building because they wanted to market it to future investors, and of course we wanted to have a ‘green’ building to reduce our energy costs and meet our environmental goals.

As a result, Timberland and OVG re/developers agreed to split certain costs associated with making the building sustainable. OVG re/developers developed the facility specifically to Timberland’s requirements—one of which was that the building meet Europe’s BREEAM® (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) certification. To earn a BREEAM® certificate, a building must meet established benchmarks for specification, design, construction, and use, as they relate to such topics as energy and water use, the health of the internal environment, pollution, transportation, materials, waste, ecology, and management processes.

The facility features a number of environmentally conscious attributes, including underground storage tanks that collect rainwater for flushing toilets and motion-detector lights to help reduce energy consumption. A new, state-of-the-art, automated packing system offers greater efficiency—and less noise.

Outside, there’s extensive green landscaping—including more than 100 birdhouses that provide a home for swallows and bats. The facility gets 100% of its energy from wind power.

Our distribution facility proves once again that eco-conscious choices can also be smart business choices. Now we’re more efficient than ever before—shipping out products faster and with less impact to the planet.

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Timberland’s passion for preserving the environment drives us to constantly develop new practices for generating clean energy sources. Turns out, we’re in good company. In November 2012, we were recognized as the Corporate Citizen of the Year at the New England Clean Energy Council’s 5th Annual Green Tie Gala. Timberland was the only non-energy company to receive an award.

Factoring in to our selection was our efforts to purchase renewable energy for our European facilities and to source renewable energy for all of our distribution centers—including an on-site solar array at our distribution center in Ontario, California. We’ve developed partnerships to bring clean energy to our Danville, Kentucky distribution center in the heart of coal country and we found a way to purchase 100% renewable energy in Holland. In 2013, 26% of the energy we purchased globally came from renewable energy sources, putting us even closer to our 2015 target of 30%.

Another factor that contributed to Timberland’s selection was achieving an industry-leading 50% greenhouse gas emissions reduction between 2006 and 2013 for the facilities that we own and operate and for our employees’ air travel, hitting our 2015 target 2 years ahead of schedule.

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Big Steps to Renewable Energy in Europe
Our passion for the outdoors and responsibility to our stakeholders demand that we address one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time—climate change. Timberland aims to be part of the solution by reducing our energy demand, as well as procuring and investing in renewable energy. We define renewable energy as energy that is available from wind, solar, and small-scale hydropower sources.

Our goal is to help drive down energy demand for all facilities. One area of focus is our distribution centers, which are some of the largest facilities we operate around the world. Our first distribution center to source renewable energy was located in Enschede, Holland, which sourced 100% of its energy from wind power.

We have additional opportunity to purchase clean energy for our offices, showrooms, and retail stores—where the grid allows. Grid-renewable power from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland is more reliable than other locations, thanks to snow melt from the Alps. That power is run by cable to other countries in mainland Europe, such as Italy.

That particular grid does not extend to island nations, like the United Kingdom, where Timberland’s European Headquarters (EHQ) is based. We wanted to use renewable energy for a long time, but there wasn’t enough supply to meet the demand from businesses.

Then, in 2010, the British government began investing heavily in renewable power, offering tax breaks and relaxing laws to encourage the creation of power from sources other than fossil fuel. Power companies erected big wind farms out in the ocean off the coast of Britain and the supply increased dramatically.

Timberland’s procurement and facilities teams in the U.K. jumped at the opportunity to support the company’s energy goals in their homeland. With the help of National Utility Services, an integrated energy solutions firm, we were able to consolidate energy suppliers, and now source energy from a single supplier for our EHQ location 20 miles west of London, and another supplier for all retail locations in the U.K. This consolidation has offered a financial benefit, as well as an environmental one: we can buy renewable energy in bulk, resulting in cost savings.

There was a certain amount of upheaval and expense in making the change, since all the meters needed to be replaced and a new reporting system had to be implemented to provide more accurate details about energy usage. Nevertheless, as of August 1, 2011, nearly all of the energy used by Timberland in the U.K. is derived from renewable sources.

Because of our focus on sourcing clean energy in Europe and elsewhere, Timberland surpassed its 2013 goal of 23% clean energy and purchased 26% clean energy out of our total energy usage. Going forward, we anticipate challenges as we look for opportunities to curb energy demand and emissions while still growing our business and expanding our international presence. Stay tuned to updates on Timberland’s Responsibility site for how we’ll tackle this challenge.

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