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The Responsible Company: What We've Learned from Patagonia's First 40 Years [Paperback]

Yvon Chouinard , Vincent Stanley

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Book Description

May 25 2012
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 planet's 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 you'll need by treating your workers, customers and communities with respect.

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The Responsible Company: What We've Learned from Patagonia's First 40 Years + Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman
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“If you have any doubt at all that doing right by the natural world is good for the bottom line, please, stop right now, wherever you are, find a seat, put the smartphone on mute, and read this freaking book. Yvon and Vincent aren’t here to bum you out about a planet turning to desert, or to shame you into anything. They affirm that the ingenuity and hard work required to clean up our offices and industries will be the most rewarding (and profitable) work we do.”--Brad Wieners, Executive Editor, Bloomberg BusinessWeek

From the Back Cover

 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. 

About Patagonia

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. 

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Elements of Responsible Business May 16 2012
By Nora Gallagher - Published on
The Responsible Company is like the Elements of Style, that basic guide to writing that has served so many writers and readers. In beautifully written, clean prose, it boils down the basics of responsibility to employees, customers and the planet. There is another way to do business besides the quick profit and the scorched earth policy of so many corporations. There is another way to do business and survive as a business. Even make a profit.
I recommend this book especially to people who do not read business books, whose inclination might be toward literary essays or novels. It's a great read and you will know so much more about the realities of the business world, and the often agonizing decisions Patagonia had to make to get to where it is now: a company trying to earn the
right to call itself responsible.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring May 14 2012
By Marblehead - Published on
Truly inspiring. A must read for those starting out in business as well as those who are already established. This book shows there is a way to run a business, make a profit, and still sleep well at night knowing you are doing the right thing for the earth.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Read, in a business book! May 25 2012
By Seapc - Published on
A book about business (and the environment) that is enjoyable to read! It is beautifully written, optimistic, and entertaining. I couldn't put it down and was truly inspired and empowered.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book! Aug. 12 2012
By Josephine Ireland - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Responsible Company is surprisingly hard to put down and the antidote to all the discouraging news about corporate America. Simple in concept, it describes clearly and succinctly why we need to revamp our collective business practice before the planet's resources run out, then provides practical checklists for how to go about it. The authors draw on their own experiences at Patagonia, describing some of the moments that "stunned them into consciousness", and also bring news of other companies who have come to the table--DuPont, Nike, and Wal-Mart among them--and some of the surprising and heartening coalitions they've formed. The writing is excellent, the voice that of someone you'd be happy to find yourself seated next to at an interesting dinner party. Despite the credibility of Patagonia--I always think of them as a company that tries to "walk the walk"--the tone is one of humility; there's an inherent conflict between making and selling products that consume resources and create waste and acting responsibly, and Chouinard and Stanley acknowledge it and are candid about how far Patagonia or anyone else is from achieving real sustainability. Still, it's a hopeful book, one I wish everyone would read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The future July 2 2012
By Cristian Guajardo Garcia - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very beautiful book. Its honest, trutfull and compelling.

Patagonia is teaching us how to run a business and be profitable while staying truth to our core values and commitment to save the world.
Similar to what Atul Gawande did with his The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right Patagonia gives us actual steps to move onward leading a green change in both, our companies and personal lives.

This is how a company should be lead.
The book inspires and its an eye opener.

Its an absolutely must.

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