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The Responsible Companyby Yvon Chouinard
Synopses & Reviews
The Responsible Company, by Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, and Vincent Stanley, co-editor of its Footprint Chronicles, draw on the their 40 years' experience at Patagonia and knowledge of current efforts by other companies to articulate the elements of responsible business for our time.
Patagonia, named by Fortune in 2007 as the coolest company on the planet, has earned a reputation as much for its ground-breaking environmental and social practices as for the quality of its clothes. In this exceptionally frank account, Chouinard and Stanley recount how the company and its culture gained the confidence, by step and misstep, to make its work progressively more responsible, and to ultimately share its discoveries with companies as large as Wal-Mart or as small as the corner bakery.
In plain, compelling prose, the authors describe the current impact of manufacturing and commerce on the planets natural systems and human communities, and how that impact now forces business to change its ways. 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 youll need by treating your workers, customers and communities with respect.
Over the past 40 years, Patagonia has consistently done the outrageous and unusual — switched to exclusive use of organic cotton clothes, introduced recycled (and recyclable) underwear and fleece, and created an interactive website, the Footprint Chronicles, to clue customers in to the social and environmental impact of Patagonia's products. The company's Common Threads Initiative redefines the relationship between company and customer, to help reduce consumption, wrest the full life out of every product made, and recycle or repurpose what can no longer be used.
Patagonia, Inc. is a Ventura, California-based outdoor clothing company, founded in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard, with current annual sales of over $500 million. Its reason for being: build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
About the Author
Yvon Chouinard, a noted alpinist and environmentalist, is the founder and owner of Patagonia, Inc.,
which Fortune has called “the coolest company on the planet.” He is also the co-founder with Craig
Mathews of 1% For The Planet and the author of Let My People Go Surfing.
Vincent Stanley, Yvon Chouinard’s nephew and one of Patagonia’s original employees, is
co-editor of the company’s prestigious Footprint Chronicles, which tracks the environmental
impact of Patagonia’s products and discusses the company’s most pressing social and
Table of Contents
1. What We Do for a Living
2. What Crisis?
3. The Responsible Company in Our Time
4. Meaningful Work
5. The Elements of Business Responsibility
6. Sharing Knowledge
7. Where to from Here?
Appendix: The Checklists
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