Patagonia is synonymous with corporate sustainability. The outdoor clothing brand goes out of its way to protect the planet — using recycled and organic materials, minimizing its ecological footprint throughout it supply chain, and donating 1% of all profits to grassroots environmental groups.
The brand's mission statement reads: "For us at Patagonia, a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them, and to help reverse the steep decline in the overall environmental health of our planet."
And it turns out the company's senior leadership lives out these principles in everyday life.
A former executive, Kristi Tompkins, spent the past several years buying and conserving land throughout South America with her now-deceased husband Doug Tompkins, the founder of The North Face. Together, they accumulated 3.4 million acres of land, as well as land in Argentina.
Doug Tompkins died kayaking in Chile in 2015.
Now, Kristi Tompkins is giving 1 million of those acres to the government of Chile to establish national parkland.
The Chilean government is matching this gift with an additional 10 million acres for national parkland. Together, the newly public and protected lands will expand three existing parks and create five new parks.
This is corporate philanthropy at its best — benefitting the public in a long-term, replenishable way.
Because much of the land will receive national park status, it will receive the strongest federal protections.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed the agreement earlier this week.
“Like most big ideas, to achieve them there must be partners who share the vision, those who can imagine a place or time a hundred years from now and do what is necessary to create something spectacular, something that will withstand the test of time,” Tompkins wrote in a statement. “And this we have found in the partnership with President Bachelet and her government.”