The Green Giant of America’s Environmental Movement

Ryan Gellert, Patagonia’s C.E.O., Has a Mission: ‘Save Our Home Planet’

This photo was taken at Patagonia, in Mendocino, Calif., which was closed for four days, December 9, 2011. Patagonia’s mission is to “save the planet” and by 2020, use their materials and services on the home planet. Photo: Lance A. Miller, Los Angeles Times

In the past eight years, Patagonia has grown into one of the world’s leading environmental conservation organizations, and they have a message: It’s time to put an end to the practice of using natural resources on the planet that they have come to know and love for their ecological value.

At the end of 2010, Patagonia had 3,000 employees, 1,500 of which were full-time activists, and 100 of which were volunteers, many of whom have devoted their lives to changing destructive patterns of business, society and conservation. Patagonia’s mission is simple: “to build a more sustainable world by making better choices with our impact on Earth on all scales.”

While Patagonia had already changed the “way our world used and cared for natural resources,” founder Yvon Chouinard said their goal was to “save our home planet from the tyranny of the Earth by changing the way we behave with our own impact on the planet.”

The organization’s mission statement is long and requires a lot of ink in order to fully convey. However, the core message is simple: it is not OK to destroy the planet, and it is not OK to use the planet, including the land on which we live.

The ‘Green Giant’ of America’s environmental movement

Patagonia is headquartered in Mendocino, Calif., which is a “special place,” Chouinard said. Mendocino has a lot of beauty and a lot of history and culture, and, as Chouinard shared, it is a place where “people are starting to get it that the planet is not for sale.”


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