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How sustainable is Patagonia ?

Patagonia & sustainability


Logo_patagonia
Well on the way Click here for score rapport: 20 out of 34

Sustainability summary

Patagonia has achieved the B-label. This means Patagonia is among the more sustainable brands in the sports & outdoor clothing sector. It has set highly ambitious climate targets and is making steps to achieve them. Patagonia is also increasing the share of environmentally friendly materials for its collection, and making progress on the management of chemicals, but it could still be more transparent about these and other environmental policies. As a member of the Fair Labor Association, Patagonia is working to improve labour conditions in its supply chain, though more concrete results could be provided. Patagonia is a frontrunner in the payment of living wages.

Brand owner: Patagonia, Inc.
Head office: Ventura, California, USA
Sector: Sport & outdoor clothing
Categories : Male, Female, Kids, Baby
Free Tags: Bags, Caps, Shirts, Pullover, Jackets, Dress, Shoes

What's your sustainability news about Patagonia?

Patagonia sustainability score report

Last edited: 2 April 2019 by RSM - Students
Last reviewed: 2 April 2019 by Maarten

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

4 out of 6
1. Has the brand (owner) disclosed the annual absolute climate footprint of its 'own operations', and has it accomplished an overall absolute climate footprint reduction compared to the result of the previous reporting year? Patagonia has published the absolute climate footprint of its own operations, but this footprint has increased from 3617 tons of CO2e in FY2016 to 4002 tons of CO2e in FY2017 (see link, page 10). Source
2. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? Patagonia reported in early 2019 that the electricity from renewables they pumped into the grid constitutes 76% of their global electricity footprint. Sources include on-site solar panels and wind power, and they apply Renewable Energy Certificates from solar investments. This figure is still being verified, but a share of at least 50% can be guaranteed. Source
3. Is all the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 2. Source
4. Has the brand (owner) disclosed the annual absolute climate footprint of its supply chain that is 'beyond own operations'? Patagonia publishes the climate footprint of its supply chain that is 'beyond own operations' for FY2017, reporting an emissions figure of 137,001 tons of CO2e. Source
5. Has the brand (owner) accomplished a reduction of this annual absolute climate footprint 'beyond own operations' compared to the result of the previous reporting year? Although Patagonia does not report a reduction of their climate footprint beyond their own operations compared to their previous reporting year, they do report numerous measures that reduce their present footprint such as donating 1% of their revenue to environmental projects. Source
6. Has the brand (owner) set a target to make at least its own operations fully climate neutral by 2030, and is the brand on track to achieve this target? Patagonia aims to become carbon neutral across their entire business including their supply chain by 2025, and outlines a credible roadmap to achieve this, including through 100% renewable electricity and carbon-capture projects. Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

5 out of 12
1. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 5% of its volume? In 2017, between 29% and 49% of Patagonia’s entire collection was made of more sustainable raw materials, including reclaimed cotton, organic cotton, refibra and tencel lyocell, Yulex, recycled polyester, recycled wool, recycled down and recycled nylon (see link page 8, and link next question). Source
2. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 10% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 25% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
4. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 50% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
5. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 75% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
6. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 90% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
7. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures to make the clothes and footwear? At least 56% of Patagonia's annual material volume is bluesign® certified. This means that during production high environmental standards are maintained for chemical and water use. Source
8. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least one suspect chemical group, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? Patagonia use phthalate-free printing inks (see link) and introduces for the Fall 2019 season its first products that use PFC-free chemistries (see link next question), but in absence of a public Manifacturing Restricted Substance List it is unclear whether at least one suspect chemical group can be considered as fully eliminated from its entire production. Source
9. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least three suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? See remark for environmental policy question 8. Source
10. Does the brand (owner) report what percentage of its consumer packaging materials are renewable or made from recycled materials, and does the brand implement best practices or concrete policies which have reduced the environmental impact of their packaging materials? Patagonia reports sourcing only SFI or FSC-certified wood fibre products (see link, pages 1-2), but does not report the percentage of recycled or renewable materials for its consumer packaging. Source
11. Does the brand (owner) publish its absolute waste materials footprint and implement concrete policies to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, thereby decreasing its waste footprint compared to the previous reporting year? Patagonia implements several measures to reduce its annual absolute waste footprint, such as a zero-waste week. But, concrete aggregate results regarding its annual absolute waste footprint are not made public (see link, page 11). Source
12. Does the brand (company) encourage the return or re-use of garments? Patagonia encourages its customers to use the products for as long as possible and offers tips on how to repair them. They also accept used clothing and gear to sell them in a specific 'Worn Wear' section. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

11 out of 16
1. Does the brand (owner) have a supplier Code of Conduct (CoC) which includes all standards to ensure workers' rights such as no child labour, no bonded labour, a safe workplace and no excessive overwork? And is there at least a progress report once every two years on implementation of this Code of Conduct? Patagonia includes all these standards in its supplier workplace Code of Conduct (see present link). In collaboration with the Fair Labour Association (FLA) it has published a 2017 report about social compliance in the supply chain including labour conditions at suppliers (see link next question). Source
2. Does the brand (owner) have a policy to make sure there is a proper grievance mechanism in place for factory workers and are at least 25% of workers informed about their rights regarding this mechanism (e.g. through training)? Patagonia is a member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) which requires a complaints mechanism to be active within factories. However, it is not clear whether the system provides for complaints handlers outside the factory and whether at least 25% of workers were trained about these complaint procedures (see link, page 10). Source
3. Does the brand (company) have a published list of direct suppliers, that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? Patagonia has published a list of direct suppliers that are likely to cover 90% of its total production, effective by November 2018 (see link under "Finished Goods Supplier List"). Source
4. Is this supplier list specific? Are e.g. the addresses of direct suppliers included, and/or are the specific products mentioned per factory? See remark for labor conditions policy question 3. Source
5.  Is the list of direct suppliers extended with suppliers further down the supply chain, with a minimum of 40% in number compared to the direct suppliers? Patagonia also provides a partial list of suppliers further down the supply chain. Source
6. Is the brand (owner) a member of a collective initiative that aims to improve labor conditions, in which civil society organizations like NGOs and labor unions have a decisive voice, or does the brand purchase at least 50% from certified manufacturers with improved labor conditions? Patagonia is a member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA). Source
7. Does this initiative require clear minimum performance levels for member brands? FLA may terminate the participation of companies that, after being placed under special review, still fail to achieve or maintain compliance with FLA Standards (see link, page 29). However, it is not clear on what criteria the obligations are evaluated and thus how strict membership requirements really are. Source
8. Is at least 25% of the total production volume at direct suppliers verified under monitoring concerning good labour conditions? All of Patagonia's direct suppliers are audited (see link), but it is unclear what percentage of the total production volume is audited by eligible third parties, such as FWF or SA8000. However, because Patagonia sources partly from low-risk countries and 38% of all its suppliers in FY2017 were Fair Trade certified, a percentage of 25% can be guaranteed. Source
9. Is at least 50% of the total production volume at direct suppliers verified under monitoring concerning good labour conditions? See remark for labor conditions policy question 8. Source
10. Is at least 75% of the total production volume at direct suppliers verified under monitoring concerning good labour conditions? See remark for labor conditions policy question 8. Source
11. Is at least 95% of the total production volume at direct suppliers verified under monitoring concerning good labour conditions? See remark for labor conditions policy question 8. Source
12. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy for the leather, yarn and fabric production phases, including a reasonable overview of the number and region of workplaces covered by the policy in relation to the total production volume? In its periodical auditing report, the FLA describes and praises Patagonia's efforts to improve labour conditions beyond Tier 1 suppliers (see links Labour question 5 & 6). In particular, Patagonia reports on its auditing of Tier 2 suppliers in Taiwan to combat the practice of immigrants having to pay fees to get a job (see link). Source
13. Does the brand (owner) publicly commit to a living wage benchmark with defined wages per production region or factory? Patagonia has given an overview of production countries and has committed to implement the living wage benchmarks as provided by the Global Living Wage Coalition and Fair Labor Association (see link, page 51). Source
14. Does the brand (owner) set a target to establish the payment of living wages at its apparel manufacturers, and is the brand on track to achieve this target? Patagonia implements measures to achieve living wage payments at its apparel manufacturers, such as through collaboration with Fair Trade USA. It reports that their apparel suppliers pay at least 81% of the living wage, with 18% of them paying above a living wage (see link, page 51). Source
15. Has the brand (owner) realised payment of living wages for at least 10% of its production volume? See remark for Labour Conditions question 14. Source
16. Does the brand (owner) adhere to buying practices that enable living wages and good labour conditions, such as long-term relations with factories, and concentrating production at limited number of factories? Patagonia has a business relationship of at least 5 years with 55% (or 40 out of 73) of its finished-goods factories (see link under 'Finished Goods Suplier List'). Source