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TIMBERLAND’S MODEL OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

TIMBERLAND’S MODEL OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Timberland is a manufacturer of rugged outdoor boots, clothing, and accessories. Founded in1918 in Boston by an immigrant shoemaker named Nathan Swartz, the company has been run for almost a century by three generations of the Swartz family. Today, the company sells its product in department and specialty stores as well as in its own retail outlets in North America, Europe, Asia, South Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Although the company was taken public in 1987, the Swartz family and its trust and charitable foundations continue to hold about 48 percent of Timberland stock. The company’s mission embodies a strong social responsibility theme “: to equip people to make a difference in their world. We do this by creating outstanding products and by trying to make a differene in the communities where we live and work.” In 1989, Timberland was approached by City Year, an urban service corps, for young people, with a request for a donation of boots. Jeff Swartz, a grandson of the founder and CEO, said yes and agreed to join the corps for half a day of community service. Swartz later described his experience: I found myself, not a mile from our headquarters…face to face with a vision [of] America not unlike the one that drew my grandfather to leave Russia in steerage so many years ago. I spent four hours with the corps members from City Year and some young recovering drug addicts in a group home. I painted some walls and felt the world shaking under my feet. In America? At this time of plenty? Children on drugs? Behind my desk again, safe no longer, moved by my own sense of purpose, having served albeit briefly, all that mattered was figuring out how service could become part of daily life at Timberland

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