lunes, 12 de marzo de 2007

On Corporate Responsibility for Planet Earth

On Corporate Responsibility for Planet Earth

by Yvon Chouinard
Read the whole essay

As an alpinist who set out to make gear for my friends and never thought of myself as a “businessman” until long after I became one, I’ve wrestled the demons of corporate responsibility for some time. Who are businesses really responsible to? Their shareholders? Their customers? Their employees? None of the above, I have finally come to believe. Fundamentally, businesses are responsible to their resource base. Without a healthy planet there are no shareholders, no customers, no employees. As the conservationist David Brower liked to say, “There is no business to be done on a dead planet.”

But what does behaving responsibly to the environment mean? It took me nearly 25 years in business to learn how to ask that question. It has taken another 15 years of trial and error to uncover the process that Patagonia – or any environmentally minded company – has to go through in pursuit of answers. I think I know how to break that process down to five steps. These steps apply to individuals as well as to companies who want to reduce the harm they do and make a difference.

STEP 1: Lead an examined life.
STEP 2: Clean up your act.
STEP 3: Do your penance.
STEP 4: Support civil democracy.
STEP 5: Influence other companies.


In the end, Patagonia will never be completely socially responsible, nor at any time soon be able to make a totally sustainable (“cradle-to-cradle” recyclable) product. We have a long way to go and we don’t have a map – but we do have a way to read the terrain and to take the next step, and then the next.

No hay comentarios: