The Future of the Responsible Company
What We've Learned from Patagonia's First 50 Years
by Vincent Stanley
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Pub Date 05 Sep 2023 | Archive Date Not set
Simple but powerful advice on how and why to rethink your business structure in a time when traditional capitalism is no longer working for people or the planet.
Patagonia over and over throughout the years has been recognized as much for its ground-breaking environmental, social practices as for the quality of its clothes. And then, in an unprecedented action, in 2022, the Chouinard family gave their company away, converting ownership to a simple structure of trusts and non-profits, so that all the profits from the company can be used to protect our home planet and work to reverse climate chaos. In this exceptionally frank account, Stanley with Chouinard recounts how the company and its culture gained the confidence, by step and misstep, to make its work progressively more responsible, and to ultimately challenge other companies, as big as Wal-Mart and as small as the corner bakery, to do the same.
In plain, compelling prose, the authors describe the current impact of manufacturing, commerce, and traditional capitalism on the planet’s natural systems and human communities, and how that impact is forcing business to change its ways. The Future of 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. It also describes the threats of traditional capitalism and why the owners of Patagonia chose to hack the system to ensure that the company will still exist and have impact in 100 years. An explanation of Patagonia's revolutionary new business organization, The Patagonia Purpose Trust and The Holdfast Collective, rounds out this captivating business book.
“Brims with clear explanations and practical guidance, as well as the underlying thinking that frames what it can mean to do business for the health of both planet and people.” — Kate Williams, CEO, 1% for the Planet
“We need more Patagonias in the world — successful companies where purpose comes before profits — and The Future of the Responsible Company shows us how.” — Robert Strand, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
“One thing is clear. If it could, the future would invest in, work for and buy from Patagonia.” — John Elkington, Founder & Chief Pollinator at Volans, and author of Green Swans: The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism