Timberland aims for transparency with new CSR portal

STRATHAM, NH: Timberland has launched a new corporate social responsibility (CSR) communications portal in an effort to keep an open dialogue with consumers and stakeholders.

STRATHAM, NH: Timberland has launched a new corporate social responsibility (CSR) communications portal in an effort to keep an open dialogue with consumers and stakeholders.

The online portal, which was created by Timberland's in-house design team, explains the company's overall focus through four CSR pillars: Climate, product, factories, and service.

For the first time ever, Timberland's creative team, interactive team, CSR experts, and communications professionals decided to work together on a project in a “cross-functional process” to align its brand values, said Beth Holzman, Timberland's CSR strategy and reporting manager.

“We're hoping that this portal will inform, inspire, and engage different stakeholders, whether they be consumers, employees, issue experts, or NGOs, in really understanding how we are looking to improve our impact and work to be a responsible company,” Holzman added.

Social media features on the site, such as Twitter feeds, blog updates, and YouTube videos, are important in Timberland's outreach efforts. Every page is “inter-linked” with other social media channels, making real-time information constantly available to consumers.

Timberland will no longer be releasing its bi-annual CSR reports on paper; all of the information, including factory conditions and carbon footprint data, will be accessible on the site. 

Cone, which has worked with Timberland on various projects since 2007, helped the company transition its CSR information from print to online, making it more relevant to consumers and easier to understand.

“We developed recommendations to help Timberland leverage all its engagement assets to create a richer, more user-friendly experience for consumers and other stakeholders,” said Liz Gorman, VP of corporate responsibility at Cone.

In addition to explaining CSR goals and telling stories about what it means to be a responsible business, the interactive website encourages feedback and questions from consumers and stakeholders.

“Timberland has a really long history of being very transparent about our social and environmental impacts, so we want to continue to maintain that transparency and push the envelope to disclose and communicate everything that we can,” Holzman explained.

At the end of June, Timberland appointed Mark Newton, former executive director of global sustainability at Dell, as VP of CSR.

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