The Responsible Company: What We've Learned from Patagonia's First 40 Years

Patagonia
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The Responsible Company, by Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, and Vincent Stanley, co-editor of its Footprint Chronicles, draw on the their 40 years' experience at Patagonia – and knowledge of current efforts by other companies – to articulate the elements of responsible business for our time.

Patagonia, named by Fortune in 2007 as the coolest company on the planet, has earned a reputation as much for its ground-breaking environmental and social practices as for the quality of its clothes. In this exceptionally frank account, Chouinard and Stanley recount how the company and its culture gained the confidence, by step and misstep, to make its work progressively more responsible, and to ultimately share its discoveries with companies as large as Wal-Mart or as small as the corner bakery.

In plain, compelling prose, the authors describe the current impact of manufacturing and commerce on the planet’s natural systems and human communities, and how that impact now forces business to change its ways. The Responsible Company shows companies how to reduce the harm they cause, improve the quality of their business, and provide the kind of meaningful work everyone seeks. It concludes with specific, practical steps every business can undertake, as well as advice on what to do, in what order.

This is the first book to show companies how to thread their way through economic sea change and slow the drift toward ecological bankruptcy. Its advice is simple but powerful: reduce your environmental footprint (and its skyrocketing cost), make legitimate products that last, reclaim deep knowledge of your business and its supply chain to make the most of opportunities in the years to come, and earn the trust you’ll need by treating your workers, customers and communities with respect.
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About the author

Yvon Chouinard: Yvon Chouinard, a noted alpinist and environmentalist, is the founder and owner of Patagonia, Inc.,which Fortune has called “the coolest company on the planet.” He is also the co-founder with Craig Mathews of 1% For The Planet and the author of Let My People Go Surfing.


Vincent Stanley: Vincent Stanley, Yvon Chouinard’s nephew and one of Patagonia’s original employees, is co-editor of the company’s prestigious Footprint Chronicles, which tracks the environmental impact of Patagonia’s products and discusses the company’s most pressing social and environmental issues.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Patagonia
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Published on
Oct 6, 2013
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9781938340109
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Business Ethics
Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship
Business & Economics / Leadership
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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We at Patagonia, like all business people, know that long-term income has to exceed long-term expense. To do otherwise is to go bankrupt, as Ernest Hemingway described,in the usual two ways: “Gradually, then suddenly.”

Today we are using the equivalent resources of one and a half planets, yet we live on only one. All the indicators of earthly health are in decline: of water, air, arable land, fisheries and biodiversity. How do we reverse this decline in the quality of life (and attendant climate change) before it becomes sudden catastrophe?

Most conversations addressing that question hone in on technological solutions. Each year we attend sustainability conferences where the talk centers on innovation as the way to lower resource use and waste. But at these conferences, among decent people doing their best, there is always an elephant in the room, concealed behind a curtain few are willing to draw to the side. The elephant is growth-based capitalism, and the assumption that a growth economy equals prosperity and a healthy society. Yet we know we must consume less, and far more slowly – as well as innovate as quickly and ingeniously as we can.

What is a responsible economy? One that allows healthy communities, creates meaningful work, and takes from the earth only what it can replenish—one where all the indicators of health start to improve. What would make up this economy? What could a responsible economy look like? That’s the question we’ll explore with ourfriends and customers during the coming seasons.
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