1. Prepare a two-paragraph memo to the company’s CEO outlining whether V. F. should more broadly adopt Timberland’s CSR reporting, identifying which of its brands would most likely benefit the most from sustainability reporting.
VF took a strategic step by buying Timberland with its CSR policies. They chose to be one of the sustainable companies whose products perfectly match their target audience. VF owns North Face, i.e. a premium outdoor brand that can perfectly complement Timberland. VF did not only buy a company but also their whole package of their sustainability, which proved to be working, as Timberland was a profit-earning company. VF knew that with the purchase of Timberland, they committed to keep the Timberland’s CSR and also to start to adopt the CSR policies to their own branches. On the VF’s website under Corporate Responsibility, they talk about their values: “To us, values such as honesty, integrity, consideration, and respect are more than words; they are embedded in everything we do and are the foundation of our social and environmental efforts.”
With that said, it is quite obvious that they adopted Timberland’s CSR reporting. They also give back to the community as they have a VF 100 program for companies who have the highest number of community service hours. VF donates $1,000 for “$1,000 to each winner’s qualified charity of choice.” I believe that VF recognized the importance and future of sustainability when they purchased Timberland and adopted their CSR reporting. As they have 50% of the market share, we can state that it was worth it for them.
2.Upon reviewing former CEO Jeff Swartz’s final blog post, do you agree or disagree with his finding that the business world has shifted to sustainability?
I agree that more and more companies realize how important morally and financially as well to adopt CSR reporting. When Mr. Swartz started to put his ideology into practice, he met lots of barriers and he was the one of the pioneers of establishing CSR. I am sure in the beginning he felt like that the new management didn’t understand how complex it was as they said it “the answer is simple—we believe that sustainability is good for the business and good for the world environmentally”, but later on Mr. Swartz realized that his pioneer days were over, the world has moved on and started to understand what he was fighting for.