Large Corporations Fight Climate Change

On Wednesday September 14th, Patagonia, a large outdoor gear company, announced that all of their proceeds will now go towards fighting climate change. The founder, Yvon Chouinard, feels that it was a necessary step if we want to have any chance of a still thriving planet in the future. This decision is not only bold, it is important. According to the New York Times, Chouinard donated 98% of the company to a nonprofit known as the Holdfast Collective and the other 2% to their non-profit organization known as the Patagonia Purpose Trust. This trust will oversee the company and the socially responsible decisions it has vowed to make while the Holdfast Collective will use profits for fighting back against climate change. As we read and hear about this decision it may make us wonder: should other companies be following suit? Are there already companies that are working to heal our planet? The answers to both are irrevocably yes. 

The EPA, or United States Environmental Protection Agency, states that 24% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the industry category and 27% comes from transportation, which includes all the fuel needed to distribute goods and services from major corporations. So, we know that these companies we rely on for a product, such as a cozy Sweater Jacket from Patagonia, are producing gas emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere and therefore contribute to global warming. However, if we look around us we may discover that some of these companies we love so dearly are in fact already on their way to limiting their negative impact on our Earth. 

First up, Starbucks. Who doesn’t love a warm, sweet Pumpkin Spice Latte in the fall or a Peach Green Tea Lemonade in the height of the summer heat? Starbucks is working to ensure that you can continue to enjoy these delicious drinks by putting in place their sustainability campaign. They pledge to reduce their waste, carbon, and water footprints by 50% by 2030. They are striving to focus on multi-use packaging, plant based menu options, responsible waste management and more. 

Another company many of us may often use is Nike. We’ve all seen or worn a pair of flashy and stylish Nike shoes or seen someone wearing a t-shirt with the signature Nike swoosh. But not only does this brand create many popular pieces, they value the health of our planet as well. Nike offers gently used shoes at a discounted price, encouraging the limiting of gas emissions that occur when shoes are manufactured. They are also working on utilizing as much sustainable material as possible when creating their products. 

Lastly, Ikea, a popular home furnishing retailer, has their own set of sustainability policies. Ikea says their business “aims to assess materials as holistically as possible.” This means looking for products with ethical land and water use, those with biodiversity, with smaller climate footprints and more. 

All of these companies and countless others are working tirelessly to do their part for the health of our shared home. As you purchase products from wherever you do so, remember to not only appreciate these companies but to hold them accountable. As Yvon Chouinard says, “We can save our planet if we commit to it.”