Footwear and apparel company Timberland is trying to push the outdoor industry and even the country towards a sustainable future. Timberland announced yesterday that they will launch "Don't Tell Us It Can't Be Done," an online effort to get the public involved in the climate change debate. Over the past three years, CEO Jeff Swartz challenged Timberland to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by over 20% and he believes other corporations can easily do the same while remaining competitive.
The focus for the new initiative is next month's climate change summit in Copenhagen. Timberland is creating an online petition asking world leaders to produce a legally binding treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions and a web site where visitors can stay up-to-date on the conference. This will be a place for consumers to have a voice in the push for a sustainable future.
The past year has seen Timberland launch numerous initiatives towards building a sustainable future. The Company recently teamed up with Wyclef Jean to design a collection of eco-conscious footwear made from recycled and organic materials. For every pair of the Timberland Earthkeepers Yele Haiti boots sold, Timberland will donate $2 to Wyclef's Yele Haiti foundation to support reforestation in Haiti.
All of Timberland's boxes now incorporate what they like to call a nutrition label that details in actual numbers the environmental impact of the pair of footwear. Coming soon, they will also include small icons that visually detail special earth conscious features such as made from recycled PET or renewable content.
This past summer, Timberland announced a new policy agreement with Greenpeace to ensure that leather used in new boots and shoes would not contribute to deforestation in the Amazon. The policy ensures no further purchasing of cattle raised in the newly deforested areas within the Amazon rainforest, Brazil's top source of greenhouse gas emissions. Timberland will also force their suppliers to do the same. Nike quickly followed Timberlands lead and adopted the same policy.
Timberland is actively trying to lead the way towards a sustainable future. CEO Swartz strongly believes that companies can be responsible to their shareholders, while at the same time be responsible stewards of the environment. He also strongly believes that consumer demand shapes corporate practices, including environmental policies. Watch Swartz explain how what consumers want is a potent force in the corporate boardroom below.