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BP > PATAGONIA’s Footprint Chronicles raises awareness about ecological impact of products

By in World Forum Lille on September 18, 2012


The company's founder, Yvon Chouinard, is a legendary rock climber and mountaineer. In 1957, he hand forged re-usable pitons for rock climbing as a means to support himself. Today, his company operates a small number of free-standing Patagonia stores in the U.S. and abroad, and sells its line through roughly 1,200 dealers in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Their sportswear is produced with 100% organic cotton and 45% of their textile line is made with recycled materials. The company is rare in its intense dedication to environmental preservation. Their Reno, Nevada distribution center was built completely with recycled materials and uses solar energy as well as radiant heating. Their employees benefit from self-service bicycles, an organic food cafeteria, child care services, and paid holidays for volunteer work with an environmental association. Patagonia has also created the 1% Club where since its creation in 2001, 1,235 companies in 35 countries each give one percent of all sales to environmental groups yearly. The company is privately held, with only three stockholders--founder Yvon Chouinard, his wife, Malinda, and former Patagonia general manager Kris McDivitt Tompkins.

“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis,” is Patagonia’s mission statement. In order to help achieve this mission, Patagonia has created The Footprint Chronicles; an interactive website which allows the consumer to track the ecological impact of a specific Patagonia product from design through delivery.

Objective (s):

- Raise awareness and calculate the ecological impact of products

The Footprint Chronicles website allows the consumer to follow the journey of 150 individual products from the design process, growing of raw materials, fabrication, cutting, sewing and distribution.

This transparent approach informs customers about:
- Energy Consumption
- Distance Travelled
- Carbon Dioxide Emissions
- Waste Generated

The site is designed to "ignite conversation every bit as much as corporate introspection," and encourages viewer feedback & discussion. "We've been in business long enough to know that when we can reduce or eliminate a harm, other businesses will be eager to follow suit," says Patagonia.

Factor(s) keys to success:

>A transparency which generates trust with customers
>Dedication to promoting Fair Labor and Environmental protection

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