Timberland Sets Bold Environmental Vision for 2030

Brand aspires to create products and processes that help nature thrive

Having significantly reduced its carbon footprint over the past several years with its line of boots, shoes and outdoor apparel, Timberland® is taking additional steps toward developing products that will actually improve the Earth. Today, the brand announced a bold vision for its products to have a “net positive impact” on nature by 2030. The new vision directly supports VF’s Made for Change sustainability strategy.

Timberland has been a leader in environmental stewardship and social responsibility for decades. In fact, it’s one of the key reasons we acquired the brand back in 2011,” says Martino Scabbia Guerrini, Group President of VF EMEA. “The announcement is a huge step forward for the Timberland brand, for our industry and our planet. This is what leading with purpose is all about, and we’re proud to have Timberland marching us all toward a greener future.”

To achieve its bold vision, Timberland is following nature’s lead by focusing on circularity and regeneration. Specific goals set for 2030 include:

  • 100% of products to be designed for circularity
  • 100% of natural materials to be sourced from regenerative agriculture

Colleen Vien, Timberland’s Director of Sustainability, says the brand’s 2030 vision is consistent with its pioneering efforts to reduce the environmental footprint in its own facilities globally, as well as with its supply chain partners. A few examples of the brand’s work in this realm:

  • In 2007, Timberland launched the original Earthkeepers® boot. Revolutionary for its time, this boot was made using recycled, organic and renewable material.
  • In 2015, Timberland met its 10-year goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.
  • Timberland recently reached its goal of planting 10 million trees and has committed to plant 50 million more by 2025.

“There are a lot of things that we’re proud of, but that doesn’t stop us from reaching for further advancements and new heights,” Colleen says. For instance, the 2030 goal envisions products that put more carbon back into the land than was emitted during production, by using natural processes that pull carbon out of the atmosphere and put it in the soil where it can help reverse climate change. Timberland is leading the industry in establishing regenerative sources of leather, rubber, cotton, and sugar cane, and will accelerate this leadership in pursuit of the net-positive vision.

Colleen says the vision will require innovative shifts in science and the supply chain. She credits Alex Dardinski, Senior Director, Advanced Concepts for Timberland Footwear and Zack Angelini, Timberland Environmental Stewardship Manager, among many others, for their role in making the 2030 vision a reality. The teams spent the past three months integrating and developing strong partnerships to create a roadmap of how they will work toward this daunting but critical destination.

“Few brands are willing to put such an ambitious stake in the ground, but when you do, your strategic partners know more clearly how they can contribute to your shared future,” Alex says.

Zack notes that the focus on regenerative agriculture and circularity is directly aligned with VF’s sustainability priorities and present major opportunities to help VF achieve its recently established science-based targets.

“We are excited to continue working collaboratively with VF’s sourcing and sustainability teams to drive toward these goals, amplify our impact and find efficiencies of scale as we expand our pilot innovations across the VF supply chain,” says Zack.

Though the commitment to sustainability is second nature to the entire VF family, strong statistical evidence suggests that consumers are on board as well. Consumer insight research recently conducted by the VF strategy team shows that 67% of Gen-Z and Millennials indicate they have already changed their purchasing habits due to climate change. Furthermore, our consumer insights team has found that by 2027, these generations will account for two-thirds of apparel and footwear revenue in the U.S.“Consumers want to be part of the solution rather than the problem, but they also want solutions to be easy and accessible,” Colleen says. “With the pandemic, people have become more acutely aware of how their purchasing decisions impact climate change - which ultimately impacts themselves, their communities and the planet.”