beyond factory walls 2009 timberland report

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  • 8/13/2019 Beyond Factory Walls 2009 Timberland Report


    Responsibility Beyond Factory Walls:

    Engaging Factory Workers & Strengthening Communities

    2009 REPORT

  • 8/13/2019 Beyond Factory Walls 2009 Timberland Report


    Table of Contents




    Why We Focus on Factory Conditions 4

    Management & Oversight of Code of Conduct Program 4

    Timberlands Sphere of Influence on Social and Human Rights Issues 5

    Radical Shift in Practice 5

    Challenges We Face 6


    Engaging Workers 7

    Establishing Trust and Two-Way Dialogue 7

    Worker Code of Conduct Committees 8

    Engagement Outside of Assessments 10

    Strengthening Communities 10

    Worker-Engaged Community Service 11


    Living Wage Overview 13

    Alternative Approach: Sustainable Living Environments 14

    Scaling the Sustainable Living Environment Approach 15

    Case Study: Improving Health Services & Providing Access to Microfinance in Bangladesh 17

    Case Study: Improving Womens Health in China and Vietnam 20


    The Timberland Company has permission of all factories and workers mentioned in this paper to publish the information herein.

  • 8/13/2019 Beyond Factory Walls 2009 Timberland Report


    Timberland is committed to ensuring that the workers who produce our products are provided with fair, safe and non-

    discriminatory workplaces. Our products are produced in factories across the globein 38 countries by roughly 300

    factories and approximately 247,000 workers.1One of these factories, located in the Dominican Republic, is owned and

    operated by Timberland. Our Code of Conduct team is made up of 11 Assessors and two contractors who each have

    different numbers of factories they must assess. In countries where we dont have a local assessor, we employ an external

    monitoring firm to assess factories producing Timberlandproduct.

    Whether we are focusing on our own factory or on our third-party contract

    manufacturers, we work to ensure that all factories comply with our Code

    of Conduct. But we also seek to do more. We define Earthkeeping as our

    mission to put commerce and justice at the center of our business platform.

    In the spirit of Earthkeeping, we believe it is important to go beyondfactory walls by protecting the environment in which we operate and the

    individual workers who produce our products.

    By engaging workers directly in our factory assessment process,

    we believe it is possible to establish trust and a two-way dialogue that

    ensures factory workers voices are heard. Weve helped train workers and

    cultivated support from factory management so workers can establish their

    own Code of Conduct Committees. This enables them to participate in the

    process of identifying improvement areas and to take part in initiatives to

    achieve positive change. Weve also encouraged factory owners and workers

    to establish and promote home-grown training programs that encourage

    workers to share ideas and implement improvements. And weve learnedthat seeking input from community members, local NGOs, government,

    industry organizations, other area factories, and other brands that source

    from the same factories is integral to ensuring sustainable improvements.

    We seek to engage workers in the communities where they live

    and work so that they too may create better quality-of-life conditions for

    themselves and their communities. We aim to ensure that workers live



    1. Timberlands factory list is updated quarterly at

  • 8/13/2019 Beyond Factory Walls 2009 Timberland Report





    Purchasing Practices Percentage of Footwear Production in High Risk Factories 34% 1%

    Percentage of High Priority Factories 38% 38%

    Scoring Average Assessment Score 61.9 62.0

    Average Environmental Score (not including tanneries) 1.88 2.1

    Average Environmental Score (including tanneries) 2.53 3.17

    Improvement Percentage of Continued Factory Partners with Improved Score 51% 69%

    and work in Sustainable Living Environments, an approach that considers

    the fact that paying higher wages may not always help workers realize

    improved access to basic needs or opportunities for betterment. We believe

    that while minimum wages in many places may not be sufficient, wages

    alone will not guarantee that every worker has food that meets universal

    nutritional standards, affordable and accessible health care, or educational

    opportunities. As a result, we have increased the focus of our work beyond

    assessments to finding practical solutions that aim to improve available

    infrastructure so that Timberlands presence creates fair, safe, and non-

    discriminatory conditions inside and outside of work.


    Over the course of 2007 and 2008, we have worked toward measurable

    factory improvements to scale the lessons learned through various pilot

    programs instituted during those years. The results from our remediation

    efforts also support our belief that going beyond monitoring and beyond

    factory walls is critical to addressing workers needs. For example, we

    have nearly eliminated high risk issues from our footwear sourcing

    channels, and weve seen our continued business partners achieve higher

    scores on our Code of Conduct assessments, demonstrating that improved

    working conditions is a long-term journey that requires both time and

    resources to see measurable results. Weve also continued to include

    environmental aspects as a priority in focus our Code of Conduct program

    and have seen measurable improvements based on factories implementing

    Environmental Management Systems. Our commitment to improve

    environmental conditions in tanneries is also on track, whereby we seek

    to have all tanneries achieve a Silver rating according to the standards of

    the Leather Working Group by 2010; weve already seen this program have

    significant impacts, reducing tanneries overall environmental footprints.

    While weve partnered with factories to improve their assessment

    scores, their status within our Code of Conduct assessment process, andthe conditions in which workers perform their jobs, weve also experienced

    challenges. We did not meet our 2008 target for improving our average Code

    of Conduct Assessment Score, as this metric incorporates the scores of new

    suppliers who are often unaccustomed to the rigor and high standards

    that Timberland demands. Nonetheless, we have increased our 2010 target

    assessment score because we expect that increased remediation assistance

    at our lowest-scoring factories and continued improvement of assessment

    scores for our long-term business partners will drive year-over-year

    improvements. Increasing direct remediation assistance, engaging workers,

    and strengthening communities are objectives that support the tangible

    performance improvements we seek.

    One voice can and must make a difference. We believe that speaking up

    for a courageous idea or voicing a grievance strengthens and builds a

    community. This premise is the foundation for our approach of placing

    workers at the center of our monitoring process, empowering them

    with the knowledge and skills to better their lives inside and outside

    the factory walls. We present this paper as a stand-alone report that

    explains our commitment to improving the lives of workers. We believe

    that the accomplishments and challenges we face are not unique to our

    brand and that collaboration and engaging stakeholders are necessary

    to scale our efforts. This document discusses our current programs

    and complements our 20072008 printed CSR reportas an in-depth

    look at our Workplace pillar. While we have included key performance

    metrics here, you can also learn more about our performance by

    reading the printed CSR report. Finally, we hope this paper presents

    ideas for future innovationfor Timberland, for our industry, and

    for other stakeholdersthat can help us build more sustainable

    working environments that allow all of us to participate in a universal

    Earthkeeping agenda.
  • 8/13/2019 Beyond Factory Walls 2009 Timberland Report


    As a third-generation CEO, Im reminded often of my grandfather, who was a craftsman and role

    modelsomeone I looked up to while growing up in Timberlands original New Hampshire factory.

    In 1994, we published our Code of Conduct to officially formalize the pursuit of human dignity

    in the manufacturing process. We have never questioned whether or not to invest in the lives of

    workers making our shoes, apparel, and accessories. Instead, the question is how best to serve our

    various stakeholdersfrom a demanding shareholder or discerning customer to an employee who

    wants to make a living with purpose.

    Timberland is only successful if we maintain our license to operatethat is, our contract

    with various vendors, suppliers, custom