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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Strategic CSR - Patagonia

It is difficult not to love Patagonia. While I was walking to work this morning, I saw this sign on the window of our local store:
The article in the url below covers the firm's recent announcement that it will close for election day this year, on November 6. Even though their purpose is clearly partisan ("In the past, Patagonia — known for its advocacy of environmental causes — has encouraged people to vote with the planet in mind"), there is also a larger issue of overall voter registration and participation:
"Four years ago, voter participation hit its lowest since World War II, with only 36 percent of the voting-age population making it to the polls. A 2014 Pew Research Center study found that voters were likely to miss the midterms because they were indifferent about voting, had trouble with the voting process or because of structural forces, like job or school schedules that couldn't budge."
This is not the first time Patagonia has taken this stance and, as before, the firm is encouraging other firms to do the same:
"Patagonia closed stores nationwide on Election Day 2016, as well as its headquarters and distribution and customer-service center, and gave employees paid time off. Patagonia chief executive Rose Marcario wrote that 'this year, we're doing it again,' and that other companies should join in 'because no American should have to choose between a paycheck and fulfilling his or her duty as a citizen.' … In 2016, workers at General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Square, Hearst Publishing, Casper and Thrillist were given a paid holiday, according to CNNMoney."
The firm is known for its radical advocacy:
"Environmental causes have often been a rallying cry for the company, which said it would donate all of its 2016 Black Friday sales — a whopping $10 million — to local environmental groups. The company also gives 1 percent of its annual sales goes to environmental organizations. Patagonia also joined REI, the North Face and other retailers in signing an open letter in 2017 speaking out against the United States' withdrawal from the Paris climate accord under President Trump."
Long may Patagonia's values-based approach to business continue.
Take care
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Patagonia is giving its workers Election Day off – and says you should, too
By Rachel Siegel
The Washington Post
July 6, 2018