VF Corp., the parent company of Timberland and Vans, is encouraging its employees worldwide to step out of the office and volunteer in their local communities. The company recently shared a series of initiatives that demonstrate its commitment to social responsibility, sustainability and environmental volunteering.
At the Timberland headquarters in Stratham, New Hampshire, associates celebrated Earth Week in April, bringing to life the brand’s environmental agenda and participated in a series of fun, environmentally-focused activities, including sorting trash in a dumpster to determine what could be diverted to recycling or compost. In California, Vans organized an all-associate volunteer day in late April, and associates partnered with the Surfrider Foundation to clean up several California beaches.
Meanwhile, Reef associates at the brand’s headquarters volunteered to work on and around a hydroponics farm operated by Solutions for Change, a nonprofit that provides a variety of services to combat urban homelessness and operates a social enterprise program called Solutions Farm.
Across the pond, Timberland has teamed up with the King Baudouin Foundation to create a grant program supporting the creation, maintenance and improvement of greenspaces in five European cities over the course of five years. In March, My PlayGreen funded 14 projects across London. In May, it was launched in Milan, where it will provide grants for local grassroots projects which improve access to green spaces for children of all backgrounds. To kick off the Milan edition of My Playgreen, 120 Timberland employees volunteered at three urban greening projects in the Italian city.
In other European cities, VF employees took part in community days, volunteering for local environmental and social causes and charities. Events included an Earth Day celebration in Italy, where employees helped restore a local bird protection agency’s education center, and a partnership with a London-based education program to help students at risk falling behind in school. A total of 16 students completed a range of photography, film, editing and writing tasks as well as creating a real-life business brief with support from VF store managers who served as business coaches.
“We believe thriving communities mean thriving associates,” said Laura Meagher, VF vice president, general counsel and secretary. “Being an actively engaged local citizen is both good for the community and good for business. Our associates around the world are making their communities stronger by living our values of honesty, integrity and respect, and by giving back to the places where they live and work.”
VF’s local volunteer projects complement many of company’s larger sustainable commitments, including its goal to use 100 percent renewable energy at its owned and operated facilities by 2025.