Apparel firm Patagonia named UN Champion of the Earth

Pic: UN Environment

US-based outdoor clothing company, Patagonia, has been named a UN Champion of the Earth, receiving the UN’s top environmental honour for a dynamic mix of policies that makes sustainability the main part of its successful business model. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recognised Patagonia in the entrepreneurial vision category.

From a small company making tools for climbers, Patagonia has become a global leader in sustainability. Its drive to preserve the planet’s ecosystems runs through the entire business from the products made and the materials used to the donation of money to environmental causes.

Nearly 70 per cent of Patagonia’s products are made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles, and the goal is to use 100 per cent renewable or recycled materials by 2025. The company also uses hemp and organic cotton. It is committed to simplicity, utility, and durability, a novel undertaking in a world where fast fashion is the norm for many companies and consumers, according to a press release by the company.

“Through its commitment to sustainability and engagement with today’s most pressing environmental issues, Patagonia offers a perfect example of how the private sector can join the battle against climate change, biodiversity loss and other threats to human and planetary health,” Inger Andersen, executive director of the UNEP said.

“We are honoured to receive this award from the United Nations and we hope it will inspire other companies by showing that you can have a prosperous business and also do well in the world. In fact, that is the only way to ensure your own survival and the survival of the planet,” Rose Marcario, chief executive officer of Patagonia said.

Champions of the Earth is the United Nations’ flagship global environmental award. It was established by the UNEP in 2005 to celebrate outstanding figures whose actions have had a transformative positive impact on the environment. From world leaders to environmental defenders and technology inventors, the awards recognise trailblazers who are working to protect our planet for the next generation.