Growing Our Retail Footprint While Shrinking Our Environmental Footprint
VF’s store count will double in the next five years. The rollout of these stores will include best practices for environmental efficiency in every aspect – including store design, materials and operations.
Sustainable practices are in place across our portfolio of brand retail stores.
Our owned and operated retail locations are taking steps to reduce their environmental footprints by increasing energy efficiency, reducing waste and sourcing sustainable materials locally.
The Timberland® brand has shown early leadership in energy efficiency at retail. In 2008, it became the first company to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) retail certification for a mall-based store. Based on the lessons from early LEED certified store designs, all the Timberland® brand stores today incorporate key elements from the LEED framework. On average, Timberland® brand stores retrofitted with LEED features consume 30 percent less energy than the original store prototype, making it efficient from an environmental and cost perspective.
Here are a few examples of sustainable practices currently in place at our retail stores.
Reusable bags, like The North Face® brand’s Loop Tote are popular among consumers.
By 2015 all paper shopping bags will be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified and by 2017, all VF brand paper shopping bags will contain a minimum of 30 percent recycled content.
Many brands are already using paper shopping bags with recycled content. The North Face® and Timberland® brands’ shopping bags at retail stores contain 100 percent recycled content. The Nautica® brand bags contain 50 percent recycled content. The Kipling® brand bags and boxes use FSC-certified paper and all 329 Vans® brand North American retail stores use plastic shopping bags that contain 30 percent recycled materials. Some Vans® brand stores offer tape handles that can be applied directly to shoe boxes, eliminating the need for a shopping bag altogether.
Reusable bags are also popular among our brands. For example, Vans® brand consumers can choose to purchase a reusable tote bag in lieu of a plastic shopping bag, with the proceeds benefiting the ASkate Foundation, an organization that allows children with autism to be a part of our social world through skateboarding. The North Face® brand designed a reusable tote in 2009, the Loop Tote, to repurpose scrap materials. Over 30,000 Loop Totes have been sold at retail stores, repurposing more than 17,000 yards of waste material. For each Loop Tote sold, $1 is donated to the Children & Nature Network, an organization built around reconnecting children with the outdoors.
HANG TAGS AND FOOTWEAR BOXES
Many brands incorporate recycled materials in their product packing.
The Vans® and Timberland® brands have begun to incorporate recycled materials in packaging and other materials that accompany products at the point of sale. The Vans® brand recently launched new hang tags that are also made with 100 percent post-consumer paper and soy-based inks. In addition, the Timberland® brand’s hang tags on apparel are made from 100 percent recycled paper content. Starting in 2007, all of the Timberland® brand’s footwear boxes are made from 100 percent recycled materials, 80 percent of which is post-consumer, and as of 2012 all use water-based inks.
In Europe, VF implemented new sustainability guidelines and reduced costs by 20 percent by consolidating all hanger purchasing with one supplier. All wooden hangers at VF owned stores in Europe must be FSC or SFI certified. The Timberland® brand stores also feature plastic hangers made from 100 percent recycled materials and metal hangers that contain 25 percent recycled content. Plastic hangers at the Nautica® brand are composed of 50 percent recycled plastic.
Our outlet stores comprise our largest retail footprint.
80 VF Outlet stores have reduced electrical usage by 25 percent by managing HVAC set points and schedules so they only provide heating and cooling when the space is sufficiently occupied. VF Outlets also have occupancy sensors to light priority areas. These sensors can be programmed by circuit to trigger isolated lighting based on activity.
The Timberland® brand introduced even more energy efficiencies in 2013 by outfitting 46 of its North American stores with programmable internet protocol (IP) thermostats to control heating and air conditioning. These environmental management systems resulted in an average annual energy reduction of 20 percent per store. The Timberland® brand is scheduled to install IP thermostats in new stores going forward.
Eco-friendly fixtures can be found in many of our brand retail locations.
The majority of the Timberland® brand stores today feature reclaimed or FSC-certified wood fixtures, 100 percent reclaimed oak floors, Eco-Tech ceramic tiles (with 70 percent recycled materials) and VOC-free paint. The steel fixtures are made from 25 percent recycled content in U.S.-based stores and 70 percent recycled steel in stores overseas.
LED lights are featured in many brand stores, including this store in Soho, New York.
In 2010, the Timberland® brand became one of the first retailers to install LED spotlights in nearly all of its North American retail locations. By converting 5,400 lamps from halogen to LEDs, the brand reduced energy use of track lighting by 80 percent and saved $169,000 in the first year alone. Today, LEDs are used on every sales floor and storefront sign at the Timberland® brand specialty and outlet stores.
VF has adopted this best practice and now all VF brands must use LED lighting where appropriate in new stores. The Nautica®, Vans®, The North Face® and Kipling® brand stores in 2013 started the process of retrofitting with LED light bulbs. The Nautica® brand successfully engaged its retail associates in the retrofitting process with educational LED light bulb tutorials and power-saving contests among stores.
REDUCING PACKAGING WASTE AT THE NORTH FACE®
The North Face® brand partnered with TerraCycle in 2011.
The North Face® brand is continuously working to reduce packaging waste across its value chain. Retail stores in the U.S. now either recycle used polybags locally or through a partnership with TerraCycle, a company known for finding ways to recycle hard-to-recycle waste.
Since 2011, 62,000 pounds of polybags have been recycled through this partnership with TerraCycle across 25 participating retail stores. This is equivalent to 1.5 million individual polybags. The brand is currently working on feasibility studies to see how this program can work for the European market.