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UN Champions of the Earth prize 2019 for Patagonia

American brand outerwear Patagonia received UN prize “Champions of the Earth“. 

  • Patagonia received an award United Nations Leading Environmental Award for Entrepreneurial Vision.
  • The company is awarded for its commitment to sustainability and the struggle to preserve the limited resources of the planet.

September 24, 2019 – The American outerwear brand Patagonia was awarded the UN Earth Champions Award, receiving the UN highest environmental award for a dynamic combination of principles that make sustainability the foundation of a successful business model.

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) awarded Patagonia in a ‘business vision’ category.

Patagonia History

Since its founding in 1973 by renowned environmental advocate and entrepreneur Yvon Shuinar, the company has regularly earned approval for its sustainable supply chain, as well as advocating for the environment. The company recently updated its credo to reflect the relevance of the environmental crisis: “We’re working to save our planet” (“We’re in business to save our home planet”).

From a small climbing equipment company, Patagonia has become a world leader in sustainability. The desire to preserve the ecosystems of the planet runs a red thread through the entire organization of the company’s business – from manufactured products and materials used to donations for environmental purposes.

Environmental Friendly

Almost 70% of Patagonia’s products are made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles, the company’s goal is to produce 100% of its products from renewable or recycled materials until 2025. The company also uses hemp fibre and organic cotton. Patagonia strives to achieve the maximum simplicity, practicality and durability of its products – an innovative approach in the modern world when “fast fashion” is the norm for many companies and consumers.

Since 1986, the company annually donates at least 1% of total sales to preserve and restore the environment. In 2002, Shuinard and Craig Matthews, the founders of Blue Ribbon Flies, created a nonprofit organization called 1% for the Planet to encourage other companies to follow Patagonia’s lead.

Thanks to this 1% commitment, Patagonia has provided over $100 million to community organizations over the past 35 years and has helped train thousands of young activists.

“By striving to achieve sustainability and address the most pressing environmental issues of our time, Patagonia is a great example of how the private sector can join the fight against climate change, biodiversity loss and other threats to the health of people and the planet,” said Inger Andersen, Program Executive Director United Nations Environment.

“Patagonia demonstrates that sustainable development makes economic sense, and the success of the company indicates the desire of consumers that companies play a leading role in combating climate change and environmental degradation. Patagonia shows that such an approach to business is possible and can be qualitatively implemented,” – she said.

Climate Changes

The need for drastic global action on climate change will be highlighted at the key United Nations Climate Change Summit to be held on September 23 in New York. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on world leaders, entrepreneurs and civil society to come to the summit with concrete proposals and ideas on how they will reduce emissions in the next decade by 45% and achieve zero emissions by 2050 in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.

Businesses have an important role to play as reducing emissions goes hand in hand with creating jobs, creating more liveable cities, improving health, ensuring prosperity for all, and ensuring that no one is forgotten.

“We are honoured to receive this award from the United Nations, and we hope that this will inspire other companies, emphasizing that everyone can run a prosperous business and do good in the world. In fact, this is the only way to ensure our own survival and the survival of the planet.” Said Rose Markario, CEO of Patagonia.

“I was encouraged by the recognition by many businessmen that capitalism must evolve if we want to have a healthy planet. And I am even more inspired and inspired by young activists calling for action to combat climate change. We all need to step up our efforts and invest in finding decisions and the struggle to save our planet, “she said.

In 2018, Patagonia announced that after a federal tax cut in 2017, it would provide an additional $10 million to community-based organizations protecting the planet’s air, water and land, as well as organizations supporting the Regenerative Organic Agriculture movement – a holistic approach to growing crops, which gives primary importance to the state of the soil and seeks to ensure the absorption of carbon from the atmosphere.

“Champions of the Earth” – the leading environmental award of the UN. The award was established by UNEP in 2005 to honour distinguished individuals who have a positive environmental impact. From world leaders to environmentalists and inventors, award-winning pioneers contribute to protecting the planet for the next generation and inspire important environmental action.

Patagonia has become one of the five award winners this year. Other categories of awards include political leadership, inspiration and action, as well as science and innovation. Laureates of 2019 will be awarded on September 26 during a gala dinner in New York during the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. Also, during the festive event, seven environmental pioneers aged 18 to 30 years who won the competition “Young Earth Champions” will be celebrated.

Among the previous winners of the “Earth Champions” award in the category of “entrepreneurial vision” were noted: in 2018 – the Indian Cochin International Airport, which became the first airport in the world working on solar energy, in 2015 – Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever Corporation, and, in 2014, the U.S. Green Building Council, a private, nonprofit organization that transforms buildings around the world.

Editor’s Notes

Article based on this Press-release

About the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)

The United Nations Environment Program is the leading global platform for discussing environmental issues. It plays a leading role and encourages partnerships for the protection of the environment by stimulating, informing and empowering countries and peoples to improve their quality of life without harming future generations.

About the Earth Champions Award

The annual Earth Champions Award is given to prominent leaders from among governments, civil society and the private sector, whose actions have had a positive impact on the environment. Since 2005, the prize has been awarded to 88 laureates – from national leaders to inventors. Visit the awards website.

About Weibo

The Earth Champions Award is organized and sponsored by Weibo, China’s leading social media platform that allows you to create, distribute and find information on the Internet. Weibo combines real-time public expression with a powerful platform for social interaction, content aggregation and content distribution. The Weibo platform has about 431 million monthly active users.

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