B Corps Tackle the Impending Climate Crisis While Sharing Innovative Practices and Materials
Patagonia and Allbirds, two companies inspired by the natural world, are known as industry leaders when it comes to environmental advocacy and sustainable practices. But their leaders say they — and other businesses — should and must do more to address the impending climate crisis and environmental consequences.
As Certified B Corporations and benefit corporations, Patagonia and Allbirds are among businesses that consider the Earth as a stakeholder and factor their impact on the planet into their policies and practices as well as their mission and values. But they can’t achieve these environmental goals alone: These leaders must work with others in their industries to confront the climate crisis while also advocating for policy and practices that encourage all businesses to take true climate action.
Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert says the outdoor apparel company’s work to improve its products and practices while considering impact on a range of stakeholders is an ever-changing challenge — and they hope others follow their lead.
“We’re 48 years into this and we’re not a sustainable company. If anything, we’re a responsible one in that we really try to be clear-eyed about our impacts, and we’re really deeply committed to not only trying to work through the biggest issues in our supply chains and elsewhere, but also scaling solutions and open sourcing them to industry and beyond,” he says.
Gellert discussed Patagonia’s innovative practices during a recent conversation for B The Change with Joey Zwillinger, co-CEO of Allbirds, a sustainable footwear and apparel company known for its innovative materials and carbon neutral commitment that has grown from five employees in 2016 to more than 400 now. What follows are excerpts from their conversation.
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