Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert has slammed companies that are not doing enough in the fight against climate change.
In taking over from former CEO Rose Marcario in September 2020, Gellert took charge of keeping the company on track with its mission statement: ‘Patagonia is in business to save our home planet.’
The company has spent the last few years working towards its goal through product development, grassroots environmental philanthropy, advertising strategy and political endorsement, but Gellert has now criticised other companies for failing to put up a similar fight.
In an interview with Fast Company, the CEO expressed belief the corporate sector has ‘historically been full of sh*t, and the sector is still full of sh*t.’
He continued: ‘They all say they’re all in on climate to their customers and to their employees, and the members of those two groups – and I’ve seen the strategy docs, so this isn’t rumour or innuendo – are actively seeking to undermine the current package from the Biden Administration, which includes really ambitious climate commitments.’
Gellert went on to describe the disparity in what companies are doing versus what they are saying about climate change as a ‘huge issue’, saying:
Where I come down on it is, define for me what you mean when you say ‘all in’ [on climate]. Because you’re saying that and then hiding over here, and it’s bullsh*t.
There’s a special place in hell for people doing that. It’s the kind of thing that has to change.
When it comes to his own company, the CEO said Patagonia is making progress ‘on distilling down not only what’s important to us as a company, but what we feel we’re uniquely qualified to contribute to and to have the most impact on.’
He explained that ‘decarbonising’ the company is going to make ‘no difference to the issues we face as humans’, but stressed the need to ‘participate in driving systemic change’ through advocacy. As it looks ahead to next year, Patagonia is working on finding the areas for which it wants to advocate, and figuring out what tools it needs to execute those goals.
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