Patagonia’s green business entrepreneurs to speak at Yale

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Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley, the authors of “The Responsible Company: What We’ve Learned from Patagonia’s First 40 Years,” will be at Yale on Thursday, Sept. 27, to discuss how a highly successful company can spread a message of environmental responsibility.

Sponsored by Yale Divinity School, Yale School of Management, and Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, the discussion will take place in Levinson Auditorium at Yale Law School, 127 Wall St., 4:30–6 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

The event will also be webcast live through Yale’s Livestream channel at http://new.livestream.com/yale/Patagonia, which will provide interactive opportunities for viewers. Moderating the conversation will be Yale Divinity School alumnus Robert Massie, an author, environmental leader, and Episcopal priest.

In “The Responsible Company,” Chouinard and Stanley draw on their collective experience at Patagonia, Inc., the outdoor gear and clothing manufacturer — as well as their knowledge of efforts by other companies — to provide advice on how to create responsible, green business practices during difficult economic times. 

Chouinard, a noted alpinist and environmentalist, is the founder and owner of the high-end sportswear company. In 2007 Fortune Magazine named him “the most successful outdoor businessman alive today.” Stanley, Chouinard’s nephew and one of Patagonia’s original employees, is co-editor of the company’s Footprint Chronicles, which tracks the environmental impact of products, and addresses pressing social and environmental issues. 

 “The Responsible Company,” published by Patagonia Books, recounts how the firm gained the confidence to make its work progressively more responsible and ultimately to share its experience with many other companies, such as Wal-Mart.

The book shows companies how to live up to Patagonia’s own motto: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” It concludes with specific, practical steps every business can take to achieve these goals. 

Panel discussion on social responsibility: The following day, Friday, Sept. 28, at 1 p.m., Chouinard will participate in a panel discussion with Pavan Sukhdev, the 2011 McCluskey Fellow at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and former head of the U.N. Environment Programme’s Green Economy Initiative, and Vincent Stanley, a writer and editor for Patagonia, on the role of social responsibility in business. The event will serve as the launch of Sukhdev’s new book “Corporation 2020: Transforming Business for Tomorrow’s World.”

The event will take place in Kroon Hall, 195 Prospect St., and will be followed by a reception. The theme of the discussion, which will be streamed on the Yale Livestream channel, will revolve around the question: Can private profits and social purpose meet? Those interested in submitting questions for the panelists ahead of time can do so here. For further information, contact kevin.kromash@yale.edu.

Trees image via Shutterstock.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345