Patagonia aims for becoming “carbon positive” to avoid crisis of global environment
Global warming is getting worse every moment. The October 2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that “rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities are required.” It is no longer the case to take much time just to reduce CO2 to protect the earth. In order to get out of the critical situation, it is required to accelerate efforts to realize “carbon positive” that absorbs more CO2 than the amount of emissions.
Patagonia, an American apparel brand, is aiming for becoming carbon positive by 2025. The company declared that it will use only recycled or renewable materials in manufacturing all products by 2025 and will switch the energy used at all operated locations to renewable energy.
In Patagonia, a third-party organization started verifying in 2017 how much CO2 is emitted in all processes until the products are delivered to customers, such as extraction of raw materials, material creation and delivery of products. As a result, it was found that 97% of the total amount of CO2 was emitted before the raw materials were grown and shipped as products, of which 86% comes from the creation of the materials.
Following these results, the company decided to incorporate recycled materials wherever possible. For example, making polyester from used plastic bottle instead of petroleum can cut CO2 emissions by 17%, and plastic bottles don’t have to be sent to landfills. As of fall 2019, 69% of all Patagonia’s products are made from recycled materials, and the company has the goal to make it 100% by 2025.
Patagonia will switch 100% of the electricity used in its global owned and operated locations to the electricity generated from renewable energy by the end of 2020. In the US, the company decided to use only renewable energy for all offices, distribution centers and retail stores. The Japan branch will switch to renewable energy by switching to electricity generated from renewable energy power plants or generating clean energy equivalent to the amount used through partnership.
Furthermore, the company will also expand regenerative organic agriculture in the future. Regenerative organic agriculture is a development of organic agriculture, which is a farming method that absorbs more CO2 into the soil by treating the farmland as an ecosystem and keeping it as “natural” as possible. Patagonia has started to grow cotton and food using this method.
Patagonia’s goal is “we’re in business to save our home planet.” If global warming gets worse, there is a possibility that the mankind will be ceases to exist by 2050. Now is the time for not only organizations like Patagonia but also us as consumers to take actions with being aware of the issue.