Patagonia, a company maximizing the triple bottom line

January 21, 2010 at 8:42 pm 1 comment

In my last post What does sustainability mean in business I discussed Patagonia, a company that was founded on a love for the environment. Patagonia is a local company, and I had the privilege to visit their store and production facility. During the visit, I attended a presentation on the steps the company is taking to protect the environment.

Patagonia realizes the environment is important to maintain because that is where their clothes and equipment are used. The question that I have is how do we establish this type of mentality for businesses that do not rely on the environment to sustain the sales of their product(s)? Patagonia also has a desire to contribute to the greater social system. Some of the initiatives at Patagonia include:

  • Green seal for their cleaning products
  • Energy star appliances
  • Cardboard recycling at the center totaling 456,000 tons last year
  • The common threads clothing collected and recycled totaling 6 tons since 2005

Patagonia is unique because they appear to be guided more by the desire to contribute to the greater social system than by the desire to maximize quarterly profit statements.

There is evidence of this in their decision to contribute one percent of gross sales to an environmental partnership organization called 1% For the Planet. This is where member companies provide 1% of their revenue to environmental organizations. Patagonia makes the contribution whether or not they turn a profit for the year. This is a huge commitment to make in the interest of the greater social system.

The employees at Patagonia are the best fit for the company due to an alignment of personal values. In addition to attracting and retaining the best employees for the job, the initiatives foster customer loyalty. Patagonia customers are dedicated to the company as well as to the environment. This combination adds to the maximization of the triple bottom line. Patagonia is a company that is truly focusing on people, planet, and the profits follow.


Entry filed under: Green Businesses. Tags: , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Gabi  |  November 25, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Completely agree with your vision of Patagonia. I think that the biggest achievement of this company, is the way they just do bussiness, very natural, not forced. They really transmit their values to their customers through coherent and consistent strategy, messages and actions, building strong customer loyalty. Regards.


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Michael Lemons

I will secure sustainability for your business with strategic CSR (corporate social responsibility) by making social impact integral to the unique value proposition of the company.

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