While many companies create much buzz over the release of that annual or semi-annual report, Timberland is one of the best examples of a company that embeds corporate social responsibility (CSR) rigorously throughout its operations.  To that end, the outdoor apparel trailblazer released its quarterly CSR report to its stakeholders.

CSR mavens who raised their eyebrows over VF Corp’s recent acquisition of Timberland appear to have little to worry about.  It is business as usual for Timberland--at least to those of us who are outside observers--and its constant dialogue with its stakeholders reveals as such.  Some metrics the latest Timberland quarterly report shared with its stakeholders include:

    • Emissions increased a tad, 2.1 percent from Q1 (first quarter) 2010 to Q1 2011, due to increased business and the decision to stop buying carbon offsets for its Smartwool operations.
    • Clean energy purchases saw an uptick and are approaching 12 percent.
    • One factory within Timberland’s supply chain earned a high risk assessment during Q1, which in plain English means that threats to life and health were found.  As of June the factory underwent a massive course correction and the risks were eliminated.
    • About one-third of its factories had a “high priority” score in Q1, mostly because of new supplier arrangements and labor shortages as the economy improves.
    • Employees served almost 14,500 hours during Q1, a whopping 65 percent increase from the Q1 2010.
    • Expanded its organic cotton metric to gauge the use of recycled and renewable fibers in addition to cotton.
True to form, Timberland focused on its four CSR pillars:  energy, product, workplace, and service.  Its commitment to transparency, rather than just highlighting the good and hope that stakeholders overlook the rest of the text (which clearly never works if you ever read Elaine Cohen’s blog), is a template other companies are wise to consider.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.