Timberland has announced a new policy agreement with Greenpeace to ensure that leather used in new boots and shoes won’t contribute to deforestation in the Amazon.
The policy will issue a moratorium on purchasing any cattle raised in newly deforested areas within the Amazon Rainforest, and it will force all of its suppliers to do the same.
Brazil’s top source of greenhouse gas emissions is currently its cattle industry, and it is also the largest driver of deforestation in the world. Large tracts of the Amazon rainforest are frequently burned to the ground just to open up grazing land for cattle. Thus, a moratorium on cattle expansion might be the single biggest thing Brazil could do to stop deforestation and climate change. But that won’t happen until more companies like Timberland step up and force these policies to be enacted.
Greenpeace spokesperson Lindsey Allen said the following of the monumental agreement:
“Timberland has raised the bar for environmentally and socially responsible leather sourcing policies in the Amazon. They have taken an important step by not only committing to avoid leather from cattle raised in newly deforested areas, but by working with existing suppliers like Bertin, to move the Brazilian cattle sector toward supporting a moratorium on any new cattle expansion into the Amazon Rainforest.”
Less than a week ago Nike also announced a similar policy of its own, so now that Timberland is on board, the bar appears to be set for other companies to follow suit. Let’s hope the message has been sent.
Image Credit: Gidsicki on Flickr under a CC License