Green companies – Patagonia

Patagonia: Outdoor equipment manufacturer

Patagonia is a privately owned $350million company that makes a host of outdoor adventure equipment. Yvon Chouinard, the reluctant businessman, rock climber, owner/founder of the company has a belief  that is almost anti-consumerist – Consume Less but Consume Better.

Patagonia’s mission statement is to make the best product, do no unnecessary harm and use business to solve environmental crisis. It turns out that by doing the first two parts, the last part seems to just happen. Some of the initiatives taken by Patagoina in the sustainability space are:

  • 1% for planet initiative: It is not philanthropy. It is a way of taxing themselves and the other big companies who are also a part of this initiative to give 1% of all their sales to the betterment of environment, irrespective of a profitability.
  • Footprint Chronicles website:

               A transparency journey of its products – from the raw materials  to the final shape – tracked, by videos and pictures giving an inside look at deep Patagonia’s supplier network -an area that traditionally has been out of control of most organzations.

  •  Common threads recycling program: Through this program, Patagonia is able to transform old, unusable garments into new clothing, which gets them closer to a long-standing company goal of taking full responsibility for every product they make.

Patagonia is a quintessential ‘environmentalist’ company. The company’s website doesn’t mention ‘Sustainability or CSR or other formal terms – but simply ‘environmentalism’. This shows the passion is the driving force. It is an excellent example of Sustainable Business Development. Apart from forming alliances with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Organic Exchange and other stakeholders and NGO’s, Patagonia has been radically transparent in its success and failures. Their tie-up and promotion of ‘Blue sign’ of Switzerland has become a benchmark in the textile industry.

It has a goal to be 100% landfill free by 2015 and is well on its way – that is anything coming out of Patagonia factories will not reach the landfills. It is the cradle- cradle design paradigm which goes beyond just recycling .

Other Green Companies:

1. Starbucks Coffee

2. SC Johnson – Industry defining Sustainable practices

3. Green companies – Stonyfield Farm

All pics from  http://www.patagonia.com/us/home

Talk by Yvon Chouinard at Stanford Discussions, Social Conversations Network @ http://sic.conversationsnetwork.org/

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