July 17, 2009

Yves Choinard Interview

According to an article in Fast Company, Chouinard, 70, defines the company's mission in purely eco-driven terms: "to use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis."

Since 1985, Patagonia has given at least 1% of its sales to environmental charities, and in 2001, Chouinard cofounded One Percent for the Planet, an alliance of mostly small companies that pledge to do the same. One Percent recently notched its 1,000th member; in total, its members have given $42 million to more than 1,700 groups.

Chouinard is a realist, a renegade and a totally different kind of businessman. His motivation stems from his own pessimistic view that the world and the human race itself are deteriorating. Through his travels he observes the ongoing destruction of Earth's natural resources first hand and believes that helping to solve environmental ills is just a part of doing business on this planet. After all, how will plants operate when coal is gone? What will paper mills use when the forest has been clear cut and not sufficiently replanted? How will factories survive when water becomes so scarce that it can only be used for drinking? How will we produce goods? These questions give more meaning to the quote etched on the front door of Patagonia's headquarters,"there is no business to be done on a dead planet."

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