Timberland Pledges ‘Five in Five’

Photo: Yele Haiti and Sebastian Petion.

Clothing and accessories company Timberland has made a pledge to plant five million trees in the next five years – “five in five” – in China and Haiti, a continuation of the company’s reforestation efforts that goes back a decade.

The company says it will go above and beyond the five million mark with the “Timberland Earthkeepers Virtual Forest,” a Facebook app that will let visitors plant virtual trees and view other content. Activity in the virtual forest, which will be online through October 31, 2011, will prompt the planting of up to one million real trees.

In Haiti, Timberland has partnered with nonprofits Trees for the Future and the Yéle Haiti Foundation on Yéle Vert. Yéle Haiti and its founder, Wyclef Jean, met with controversy earlier this year over alleged mishandling of donations meant for Haitian earthquake relief.

In an e-mail, Margaret Morey-Reuner, senior manager of values marketing at Timberland wrote:

Timberland’s partnership with Yéle Haiti has always been centered on the common goal of creating positive impact and sustainable environmental change for Haiti and its people, and that hasn’t changed.  Timberland’s experience with Yéle Haiti and its management of the Yéle Vert reforestation program has been extremely positive and productive. The company believes the two organizations, together with Trees for the Future, have an opportunity to successfully grow the Yéle Vert program; they’ve already started to see positive results and Timberland remains committed to the program and to the Haitian communities it benefits.

(Wyclef Jean stepped down from his Yéle Haiti leadership post in order to pursue a failed run at the Haitian presidency earlier this year. The organization continues to deny any wrongdoing.)

In China, Timberland is partnered with GreenNet, a Japanese NGO. The company’s efforts will focus on the Horqin Desert in Inner Mongolia, where it planted its one millionth tree in April. The company has planted trees in Argentina, Vienna, and other places around the world. The company is working with Cone on the effort.

[Image via Timberland]