Our associates are the most important element of our sustainability strategies.
Collaboration across VF and our brands is a key to our success.
At VF, we view sustainability as a “team sport” requiring the support of every associate. We are fortunate to have a passionate and talented group of associates throughout our company who are helping to lead our sustainability initiatives.
Our culture enables our associates to be entrepreneurial, take calculated risks and think creatively.
Our commitment to collaboration generates new perspectives and promotes innovative problem-solving.
Our skilled and extensive network enables VF to amplify the impact of their new ideas by scaling them across our global family of brands.
VF SUSTAINABILITY COUNCIL
Our Sustainability Council supports our corporate sustainability strategy and is comprised of global sustainability leaders from across our brands and corporate functions. It meets twice annually in-person and monthly by phone to identify and follow best practices and share key learnings. In turn, regional sustainability leads apply these global perspectives and best practices at their individual locations.
VF’S GREEN TEAMS
Majestic Athletic® Green Team members plant trees near brand headquarters in Easton, Pennsylvania.
VF’s Green Team program is a grassroots initiative that is largely powered by passionate associates in our offices, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities and retail stores. VF Green Teams help lead our day-to-day efforts in resource conservation, waste reduction and community engagement. In addition, these teams organize annual large-scale service projects and environmental education events in their own communities to celebrate community activities such as Earth Day. Individual teams meet frequently to elevate new ideas, share best practices and identify new approaches to embed sustainability in the workplace.
The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Green Team created working groups to focus on certain areas, such as associate education on sustainability and paper reduction, where it felt performance could be improved. To build out its education program, the team created a newsletter called MOVE to inform all associates of the Green Teams’ progress on internal initiatives as well as on broader sustainability priorities at the brand and corporate level.
With brands and facilities spread out across the globe, VF’s global intranet LOOP is a key connection point to discover what others are doing and to share ideas and challenges with one another. The LOOP’s sustainability section is an important part of our sustainability strategy, helping associates share best practices at the grassroots level so they can be scaled across the organization.
ASSOCIATE ENGAGEMENT AT OUR OWNED FACILITIES AND OFFICES
Associates at VF-owned facilities and offices are working to promote sustainable practices at the grassroots level. One area of high engagement is recycling. Across our offices, associates amplify the positive impacts of our recycling efforts by donating old materials to help those in need. Associates in some offices save old crates from VF facilities and use the wood to build tables, fences, window frames and more for their local communities. Other offices sell their scrap materials and pair their profits with VF donations to give to local organizations. In Nicaragua in 2013, VF sold more than 80,000 pounds of scrap metal and used the earnings to purchase fillings for mattresses and cushions for individuals in the community.
ASSOCIATE ENGAGEMENT AT OUR BRANDS
What follows are examples of what VF associates throughout the company are doing to help us advance more sustainable business practices:
SPORTSWEAR COALITION: NAUTICA® AND KIPLING®
Nautica® associates participate in annual community service events for World Oceans Day.
In 2012, the Nautica® and Kipling® brands created a Sustainability Steering Committee responsible for developing a sustainability strategy for their brands. The committee set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing recycled content in their packaging. They are also testing sustainable materials in their brands’ products.
At the beginning of each calendar year, all Nautica® and Kipling® brand associates are encouraged to create personal green resolutions, such as trying to compost or avoid single-use bags. Throughout the year, the Nautica® and Kipling® brands celebrate associates who have demonstrated environmentally sustainable behaviors by posting photos of the nominated associate on the “green wall of champions.” Each quarter, the Sportswear coalition president picks a winner from the “green wall” and recognizes him or her for sustainable actions.
EAGLE CREEK’S® LIVE.WORK.TRAVEL.™ PROGRAM
The unique Live.Work.Travel.™ program makes a lasting impact on employees and local communities.
The Eagle Creek® brand’s associate-led Live.Work.Travel.™ program inspires and encourages people around the world to travel, create change and give back to the communities they enjoy visiting. An example of this philosophy is the Creeker Volunteer Trip Initiative, where Eagle Creek® volunteers have an opportunity to take five paid days off to travel and volunteer with a nonprofit organization of their choice.
SMARTWOOL’S® COMMUTER PROGRAM
The SmartWool® brand’s sustainability team sponsors and promotes monthly programs to encourage alternative commuting. From March through December 2013, the team sponsored weekly prize drawings for rewarding associates who engage in sustainable commuting methods. Within the nine-month period, 66 percent (or 61 of the 92 total associates) participated in the commuter program, resulting in 23,008 total miles saved.
Each June, the SmartWool® brand’s sustainability team sponsors National Bike-to-Work Day in conjunction with the Steamboat Springs, Colorado Chamber of Commerce.
TIMBERLAND’S® GLOBAL STEWARDS PROGRAM
Community service and volunteer opportunities are a priority at the Timberland® brand.
The Timberland® brand’s Global Stewards (established in 2006) are a team of passionate people within the brand who volunteer above and beyond their regular job responsibilities. They are responsible for communicating the Timberland® brand’s responsibility agenda and organizing large-scale service projects. Over the years, the Global Stewards Program has been essential in improving access to service, developing non-traditional forms of engagement for non-traditional office environments, adapting corporate communications to meet regional needs and helping new employees integrate into the Timberland® brand culture.