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“…most of the damage we cause to the planet is the result of our own ignorance.”—Yvon Chouinard, in his book Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman.
Eager to become the first certified B Corporation in California was Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard (yes, he succeeded), whose mission is to give back to the world through his high-end outdoor clothing and adventure supply company.
Patagonia was founded in 1972 and is one of the most well-known social businesses. Particularly since the 1980s, the company has focused on significant environmental initiatives that range from eco awareness campaigns to their 1% for the Planet program (1% of all sales or 10% of profits, whichever figure is higher, goes to environmental causes) which has led to over $25 million in donations. 1% For the Planet was developed to “build and support an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet.”
We’d love to list all their environmental initiatives, but to keep it short, we’ll just add Patagonia’s Reno Nevada Service Center, which is LEED Gold certified and their
Common Threads Recycling Program, which allows customers to bring back their old Patagonia gear for recycling.
On the social end of the spectrum, Patagonia looks out for its employees, offering neat perks like flex-time that allows them to go surfing. They also offer Environmental Internships, which let employees take up to two months to volunteer with an environmental nonprofit of their choosing—and still receive their full Patagonia pay and benefits!
Patagonia’s mission statement clearly acknowledges their care for more than just profit: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”