Patagonia, a City of Ventura Certified Green Business is a leading global outdoor apparel company and the recipient of the 2017 Environmental Excellence Award. With a mission statement that reads, “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis,” Patagonia defines the quality of their company, in part, by the degree to which they can reduce our impact on the environment.
Patagonia uses recycled materials and organic cotton in its products. In addition, Patagonia takes responsibility throughout the entire life of a product. If something breaks, we will fix it. Once customers are finished using their Patagonia product, they can bring it back to Patagonia to be resold as a used product or recycled. The company has even created neoprene-free wetsuits.
“We evaluate the environmental impacts of the materials we use in the products we make as well as examine all aspects of our business, to identify ways we can use resources more efficiently. Our commitment to protecting and conserving our environment is led by the owners of the company and our leadership team, and environmental responsibility is a key element of everyone’s job,” said Elissa Foster, Senior Manager, Product Responsibility at Patagonia.
Patagonia’s high ethical and environmental standards underscore that profitability and environmentalism can indeed go hand-in-hand. To date, the company’s donations to fund national and international preservation efforts have exceeded well over $90 million donations to date.
“For the past several decades,” continued Foster, “Patagonia has been an example of a business that is both successful and working to protect the environment. Over that time we have learned that working collaboratively with other businesses, NGOs and organizations, is key to addressing the environmental crisis in a meaningful way. By collaborating, we can have a much larger, positive impact.”
How Patagonia Keeps Sustainable In-House
Water Conservation – To reduce water use, bathroom faucets are on sensors allowing the water to shut off when not in use. Sinks, toilets, and showers all use low-flow devices. Dishwashers and other appliances are purchased for their low-impact and energy-saving features. Outside, Patagonia updated the landscape with drought-tolerant plantings and replaced two sections of asphalt in the parking lot with permeable pavement, which allows rainwater to percolate through and into the soil. They’ve also installed a bioswale in their parking lot to prevent stormwater runoff. Outdoor employee seating areas and meeting places are also situated on permeable surfaces, and an herb garden provides ingredients for their café.
Waste Management – Patagonia partners with EJ Harrison and Sons and Gold Coast Recycling to recycle as much as possible. From cardboard, paper, cans, and bottles, to foam from their surfboards, and other textile byproducts, they recycle everything they can. Food waste generated from their café goes to the City and EJ Harrison’s Food Waste Composting Program.
Energy Generation & Conservation – The Patagonia headquarters is home to 498 solar panels that reduce their overall electricity demand from the grid by an estimated 14%. Old CFL lighting throughout the campus has been retrofitted with LED lighting. In 2012, they installed a new heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system in the main building, which was designed to draw in outside air, which is cleaned through an ultraviolet air scrubber and filter before being circulated through the building to replicate an “open window environment.” SMARTGRID readers were installed throughout the building to ensure the system is properly circulating air as well as heating and cooling the building as needed.
In addition to the environmental values they implement in their business operations, they support and bring attention to the important issues of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting public lands, clean water, and air, and improving out agricultural systems through environmental grants and campaigns programs. Patagonia is passionate about the environment, and they share their passion with their customers through their website, social media, films, and events. “We strive to keep our customers informed as to what we’re doing and hopefully inspire them to engage in efforts to preserve our resources.”
-Maryann Ridini Spencer for SustainableVentura.TV
Watch Patagonia’s video on a sampling of their sustainable activities:
To find out more about how to become a City of Ventura Certified Green Business, Contact Lars Davenport, firstname.lastname@example.org