March 23, 2016

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Timberland, Smallholder Farmers Alliance and Impact Farming Join Forces to Explore Expansion of Successful Sustainable Agroforestry Model in Haiti

Global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland, Impact Farming and Haiti-based Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) today announced the launch of a new feasibility study exploring the possibility of reintroducing cotton as an export crop for Haitian smallholder farmers. If the study proves successful, the opportunities for organic cotton farming in Haiti are extensive, and companies like Timberland can one day transition from being early supporters of the SFA agroforestry enterprise to being its customers.

Cotton was once a valuable agricultural export from Haiti. After decades of natural disasters, rampant deforestation and trade embargoes in the early 1990s, cotton stopped being a viable crop for farmers. With support from the SFA, Timberland and the Clinton Foundation, Impact Farming is undertaking the new study to assess the feasibility of smallholder cultivation of cotton and organic certification or participation in the Better Cotton Initiative. The study could further empower the Haitian smallholder farming community to become an active participant in the global supply chain.

In 2010, Timberland and SFA embarked upon the creation of a powerful sustainable agroforestry model that helped Haitian smallholder farmers plant five million trees in five years while simultaneously improving crop yields, creating a microfinance program and rural farm business and more recently, building an agricultural export market for “superfood” moringa. In fact, last month, U.S. brand Kuli Kuli launched a new line of Moringa Green Energy shots made with moringa sourced from smallholder farmers in Haiti and sold at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide.

“Our program with Timberland was so successful that we saw the potential to replicate the model in Haiti and other developing countries, and scale it to cotton, rubber or other textiles and resources,” said Hugh Locke, co-founder of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance. “This feasibility study is the first step in potentially changing the dynamics of international development and sourcing. It is a true testament to the impact that collaboration, creativity and long-term thinking can have on the future of a country like Haiti.”

As part of this study, the SFA is working with Université Quisqueya, Haiti’s leading private university, to explore the establishment of a new smallholder cotton research center that will study cotton growing best practices, undertake field studies and link with universities and research facilities in other countries engaged in similar work.

“Our partnership with the SFA has already resulted in significant benefits for smallholder farmers in Haiti,” said Colleen Vien, sustainability director for Timberland. “We’re eager to see the results of the study and potentially become a customer of the farmers we have been working with for years. If successful, this is another great opportunity to bring a part of our supply chain full circle.”

Timberland and the SFA worked together to create a model whereby farmers voluntarily tend to a network of nurseries that produce one million trees annually. In return, farmers receive training, crop seeds, seedlings and tools that help restore tree cover and increase the farmers’ own crop yields – a mutually beneficial and sustainable cycle. To date, this self-sustaining business model has resulted in the planting of 5.2 million trees and helped 3,200 farmers increase productivity on their farmlands by an average of 40 percent, resulting in increased household income of 50 percent, on average. The program has also resulted in increased access to education and healthcare, including an estimated 3,400 additional children of SFA members placed in school. The journey is captured in a powerful documentary film titled, “KOMBIT: The Cooperative,” which will tour 250+ U.S. markets this spring and summer.

To learn more about the feasibility study, please visit www.ImpactFarming.org and www.HaitiFarmers.org for updates.

About Timberland

Timberland is a global leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of premium footwear, apparel and accessories for the outdoor lifestyle. Best known for its original yellow boot introduced in 1973, Timberland today outfits consumers from toe-to-head, with versatile collections that reflect the brand’s rich heritage of craftsmanship, function and style. Timberland markets lifestyle products under the Timberland® and Timberland Boot Company® brands, and industrial footwear and workwear under the Timberland PRO® brand. Its products are sold throughout the world in leading department and specialty stores as well as company-owned retail locations and online. Timberland’s dedication to making quality products is matched by an unwavering commitment to environmental and social responsibility – to make things better for its products, the outdoors, and communities around the globe. To learn more about Timberland, a brand of VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), please visit timberland.com or follow us along the modern trail @timberland.

About Smallholder Farmers Alliance

The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) applies business solutions to help feed and reforest a renewed Haiti by establishing market-based farmer cooperatives, building agricultural export markets, creating rural farm businesses and contributing to community development.

About Impact Farming

Impact Farming works with smallholder farmers internationally to scale business solutions that integrate sustainable food production with increased tree cover and self-financed community development. Impact Farming also supports the work of the Haiti-based Smallholder Farmers Alliance.

February 15, 2016

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Wyndham Worldwide’s (NYSE: WYN) sustainably accomplishments and performance results have resulted in another achievement. RobecoSAM, the world’s leading investment asset management firm focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing, has recognized the Company as an industry leader, earning it the Gold Class Distinction, and is included in the Sustainability Yearbook for the third time in as many years.

The Sustainability Yearbook is the world’s most comprehensive publication on corporate sustainability and lists the world’s most sustainable companies in each industry based on their score in RobecoSAM’s annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). They evaluate a company’s economic, environmental and social factors ranging from supply chain management to labor and human rights practices as well as environmental management.

“With hotels, vacation rentals, timeshare resorts, and corporate offices across over 100 countries, we have the widest range of operations in the hospitality industry, and we are mindful of our footprint and the impact we have on communities,” said Stephen P. Holmes, chairman and chief executive officer, Wyndham Worldwide. “Our teams work every day to maximize our social benefits and minimize the environmental impact of doing business. Through innovation and the focus on achieving meaningful change, we continue to set higher expectations for ourselves in delivering great experiences for our customers and strong results for our shareholders, in ways that are responsible to the communities and world around us.”

The Company recently announced it achieved its carbon goal of reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, six years ahead of schedule, and immediately set another goal to reduce carbon and water usage by 25% by 2025. Last year, Wyndham Worldwide was also once again named to the Dow Jones North America and World Sustainability Indices for the third consecutive year and the Index Leader for the hospitality sector for both the North American and World indices.

Since it started in 2004, the Sustainability Yearbook has provided thought-provoking snapshots of the main trends, challenges and opportunities that bridge the gap between corporate social responsibility and sustainability investing. Together with S&P Dow Jones Indices, RobecoSAM publishes the globally recognized Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), which have become a global corporate social responsibility benchmark and the key reference point in responsible investments.

“The RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment survey is a key tool for identifying companies that are equipped to identify and respond to emerging opportunities and risks resulting from global environmental and social trends, and is the backbone of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. This elite distinction is a great achievement,” said Faith Taylor, senior vice president, corporate social responsibility, Wyndham Worldwide. “Our success is a reflection of our focus on implementing corporate responsibility initiatives so that we can make a meaningful difference. We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint, improving the lives of people we touch and developing innovative solutions to achieve – and exceed – our goals.”

About Wyndham Worldwide

One of the world’s largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) provides a wide range of hospitality services and products through its global portfolio of world-renowned brands.  The world’s largest hotel company based on the number of properties, Wyndham Hotel Group is home to many of the world’s best-known hotel brands, with approximately 7,760 franchised hotels and approximately 672,000 hotel rooms worldwide. Wyndham Exchange & Rentals is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the world’s largest professional manager of vacation rentals, providing more than 5 million leisure-bound families annually with access to over 110,000 vacation properties in over 100 countries through its prominent exchange and vacation rental brands. The industry and timeshare ownership market leader, Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets, and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its network of over 210 vacation ownership resorts serving approximately 900,000 owners throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. Based in Parsippany, NJ, Wyndham Worldwide employs over 34,000 associates globally.

For more information, please visit www.wyndhamworldwide.com.

February 3, 2016

When we see something cool and good, we like to share. Periodically, we’ll highlight a company or project that we think is interesting and shareworthy. They probably aren’t ready yet to be an iGive store, but that shouldn’t stop you from thinking about their efforts.

This month we’re introducing you to Karma Trik. Karma Trik is a clothing item for women that can be worn at least 15 ways.  This innovative  product is versatile, simple and sustainable. Not only is the company mission “buy less, use more,” but the cloth for this project is made from plastic bottles in Haiti, a country with no other recycling infrastructure, providing jobs in an economy that is rebuilding. The cloth is brought to the U.S. where it’s crafted artfully. It is sewn at an employee owned co-op in North Carolina.

Take a look at Karma Trik. It’s cool, it’s new, and sounds useful.  It’s an Indiegogo project, so if you like it, read about how you can support its development, the risks associated with the project, and maybe get your very own!

KarmaTrik

December 31, 2015

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ExOfficio doesn’t just sell adventure travel clothes, it’s committed to ensuring that the adventure is worthwhile!  ExOfficio does this by partnering with philanthropic programs that give back around the globe.  Currently, they are helping to support four philanthropic partners:

  • Rivers of Recovery, an organization that creates adventures and amazWorldConcerning experiences for disabled veterans and their families
  • World Concern, a non-profit that provides lifesaving assistance to people in dire need
  • The Wilderness Classroom, an organization that helps get students out of their classrooms and into the wild all across the globe

Each one of these non-profits is helping the world around them, and every cent counts.  Make every day an adventure.

 

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