What We’ve Learned From Patagonia’s First 40 Years
Hailed by Fortune as “the coolest company on the planet,” Patagonia has made enormous strides not only in business but in purpose and social consciousness as well. Throughout its over 40 years of operations, the company has stood by its mission to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, [and] use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
With these guiding principles at the forefront of its business, Patagonia continues to report annual sales of over $600 million — proving that profit and purpose certainly don’t have to be independent of each other.
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The following series is excerpted from chapter five of The Responsible Company: What We’ve Learned From Patagonia’s First 40 Years. In this chapter, founder and owner Yvon Chouinard and co-editor of the company’s “Footprint Chronicles” Vincent Stanley discuss the most important elements of developing and maintaining business responsibility. As a company grows, it plays a larger role in sustainability and business leadership, so it’s important to craft a plan for responsible operations.
Chouinard and Stanley outline five major elements of business responsibility and sustainable leadership, including responsibility to business health, workers, customers, community and nature. Check out the full series below:
- 3 Steps to Increase Business Responsibility and Sustainability — Even if you’re not the CEO of your company, there’s plenty of steps you can take to manage business responsibility and promote collaboration to reduce less-than-ideal practices.
- Creating Shared Value to Balance Business Sustainability — To maintain social responsibility, businesses can adopt a budding movement called Creating Shared Value, in which corporate success and the common good coexist.
- Putting Workers and Team Collaboration First — Caring for the people in your business sets the tone for caring for the operations of your business.
- Your Customers’ Value Is Their Values — Finding and replacing customers is difficult and expensive. Having respect for your customers can increase your company’s responsibility and efficacy.
- Ensuring Social and Environmental Responsibility — Leading a company with responsibility means listening to the needs of the community around you, whether those communities are social or natural.
The Responsible Company is available for purchase via Patagonia Books.