Social and Environmental Responsibility

DISCUSSION 1: Social and Environmental Responsibility

Please read the following background and submit a response to the questions at the end of this information. Thanks!

Topical Discussion: Social and Environmental Responsibility

The movie, “Wall Street”, which came out in 1987, was a popular movie, starring Michael Douglas. Have a look at the following video clip. (right click on the “link”)

Link (Links to an external site.)

Is this a legitimate way to approach your work?

Some Recent Events:

  • Trump pulled out of the Paris Accord on Climate Change
  • Apple has over $250 billion in cash in tax havens in Jersey and Ireland
  • Climate change is happening along with recent hurricanes, floods and record temperatures
  • Major corporations apparently looking beyond immediate profit as the only goal: Oil companies, mission statements, accords, etc.
  • China took some steps in terms of spending to create alternative fuel sources and stated coal use would decrease by 30% in coming years (?)
  • France, India, UK, Norway all stated a coming end to fossil fuel cars, with the idea to speed up electric car manufacturing
  • Electric batteries and storage systems are dropping in price and becoming more available.
  • Big names, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg have made socially aware type pronouncements. Bill Gates is famous for charity work
  • The “Me Too” movement is putting greed and power up on display as morally corrupt affecting many industries and politics
  • Millennials and Generation Z consumers are described as focused on purpose, meaning and social responsibility

The company, Patagonia made the statement, “We believe the environmental crisis has reached a critical tipping point. Without commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, defend clean water and air, and divest from dirty technologies, humankind as a whole will destroy our planet’s ability to repair itself. At Patagonia, the protection and preservation of the environment isn’t what we do after hours. It’s the reason we’re in business and every day’s work”.

Patagonia’s Mission Statement

Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.

Our Reason for Being

Patagonia grew out of a small company that made tools for climbers. Alpinism remains at the heart of a worldwide business that still makes clothes for climbing – as well as for skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, paddling and trail running. These are all silent sports. None require a motor; none deliver the cheers of a crowd. In each sport, reward comes in the form of hard-won grace and moments of connection between us and nature.

Our values reflect those of a business started by a band of climbers and surfers, and the minimalist style they promoted. The approach we take towards product design demonstrates a bias for simplicity and utility.

For us at Patagonia, a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them, and to help reverse the steep decline in the overall environmental health of our planet. We donate our time, services and at least 1% of our sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups all over the world who work to help reverse the tide.

We know that our business activity – from lighting stores to dyeing shirts – creates pollution as a by-product. So, we work steadily to reduce those harms. We use recycled polyester in many of our clothes and only organic, rather than pesticide-intensive, cotton.

Staying true to our core values during thirty-plus years in business has helped us create a company we’re proud to run and work for. And our focus on making the best products possible has brought us success in the marketplace.


Please comment on: The “Wall Street” clip.

Also, please comment on Patagonia’s approach: Would you prefer to buy from a company like this, even pay more for their products over another company’s? If so, how much more? What if a Patagonia shirt cost $59.00 and an equivalent shirt from Macy’s is priced at $30.00. Is this price differential worth supporting Patagonia’s business approach?