At Timberland, service is a way of life. A belief in the power of people to transform their communities is one of our core values.
We live this value by offering our thousands of creative, dedicated, hardworking employees a number of ways to become involved. But it’s important to us to encourage others to engage with us in community service, as well—from business partners, stakeholders, and consumers to workers at the factories that manufacture our products.
In this way, we hope to share the benefit of our community service learnings with factory partners who can work to improve their employee morale, productivity, retention and community engagement, too.
Our assessors all over the world are trained to share the value of service with all of our suppliers. While all factories in our supply chain are encouraged to engage workers and their local communities, here are just a few examples of those vital partnerships taking place with factory partners in China:
Jiangmen Yi Xin Tanning Company Limited
At Jiangmen Yi Xin Tanning Company Limited, management wanted to prevent soil erosion and water loss, reduce noise, and maintain an ecological balance because they wanted to increase workers’ awareness of environmental protection in the area surrounding the tannery—not to mention provide them with a comfortable working environment. So, between 2009 and 2010, they organized the planting of nearly 2,000 larch seedlings on the mountain slopes surrounding the factory. Little by little, those larch seedlings have grown into a burgeoning forest.
Timberland conducted its initial assessment of the tannery soon after the factory began their initial tree-planting effort. The tannery realized that tree planting initiative could benefit from Timberland’s experience serving communities. Timberland offered suggestions to help the factory be more organized, ensure the program had meaningful impacts, create systematic processes, and engage more workers. “Timberland plays the role of facilitator and helps call for more volunteers,” says Nina Lin, one of Timberland’s Code of Conduct Asessors. “That way, more workers can participate in community service and enjoy it.”
Desertification is also a concern of workers at Simona Tanning, another of Timberland’s tannery suppliers. Since trees are vital to human life and the environment, a group of 30 employees set out to plant trees alongside a road for China’s National Tree Planting Day (March 12). “Even without Timberland, Simona would carry out the community engagement program because they are committed to being a responsible enterprise,” reports Jackson He, Timberland’s Regional Manager, Code of Conduct in China.
To enhance this community engagement, Timberland supported the supplier’s efforts. As a result, the tannery, its workers, and other volunteers were armed with saplings, shovels, and buckets. In just two hours, they lined the road with 100 little trees. “The volunteers were tired, but full of happiness when they saw the saplings swinging gently in the breeze,” reports Leeka Li, Timberland’s Code of Conduct assessor who works with this tannery. In this way, we can see the connection between Timberland’s assessors’ engagement in factories and a supplier’s commitment to community service and environmental protection.
Making A Difference
These are just a few of the ways that Timberland and our factory partners not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk, by taking a leadership role in engaging employees and stakeholders in activities that have a lasting impact on their local communities … all around the world.