Since its founding, Patagonia (which is a certified B Corp) has strived to be as environmentally and socially responsible as possible: investing in other organizations that are equally committed to the cause; using sustainable, recycled, and organically-grown materials; and taking a strong political stance on issues they feel are core to their values (even if it might not be popular to do so). Heck, they even tell consumers not to buy their products unless they actually need them in order to reduce their carbon, waste, and water footprint. And now the company is donating the $10 million it saved in recent tax cuts to grassroots environmental organizations.
Last December, President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill, which lowered corporate tax rates. In a blog post, Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia, explains why it’s the company’s stance that these cuts were “irresponsible”: “Being a responsible company means paying your taxes in proportion to your success and supporting your state and federal governments, which in turn contribute to the health and well-being of civil society,” she writes. “Taxes fund our important public services, our first responders and our democratic institutions. Taxes protect the most vulnerable in our society, our public lands, and other life-giving resources.”
Marcario’s post poses the question: If the government is putting less funds toward services that protect the land, how will it ever stay protected? “Our home planet is facing its greatest crisis because of human-caused climate disruption. All the extra heat we’ve trapped in the earth’s atmosphere is not only melting the poles and raising sea levels, it’s intensifying drought and accelerating the extinction of species,” Marcario writes. “The most recent Climate Assessment report puts it in stark terms: The U.S. economy could lose hundreds of billions of dollars, and the climate crisis is already affecting all of us. Mega-fires. Toxic algae blooms. Deadly heat waves and deadly hurricanes. Far too many have suffered the consequences of global warming in recent months, and the political response has so far been woefully inadequate—and the denial is just evil.”
To try and make things right, Marcario is hoping Patagonia’s hefty donation to “groups committed to protecting air, land and water and finding solutions to the climate crisis”—which is in addition to its 1% for the Planet initiative—will make a difference in helping out “our overheated planet.” And hopefully more big players will follow suit, bettering the future of the Earth and everyone who calls it home.
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