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How sustainable is Patagonia ?

Patagonia & sustainability


Logo_patagonia
Reasonable, could be better Click here for score rapport: 13 out of 34

Sustainability summary

Patagonia has achieved the C-label. Patagonia is on its way towards sustainability, but more improvement is needed.

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: 22 March 2019 by Shilpa
Last reviewed: 31 October 2017 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

1 out of 6
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? 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. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? Patagonia generated 203,502 kWh of on-site renewable energy and purchased 980,112 kWh of green power at several of their locations (see link), but these data from FY2015 are outdated, and these figures constitute only a small percentage of its total electricity use of 7,612,331 kWh in FY2017 (see link previous question, page 10). Source
3. Is at least 50% of 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. Is all the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? Patagonia has not published any climate footprint of its supply chain from 2016 to 2018. Source
5. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? Although Patagonia does not disclose a full climate footprint beyond their own operations, they report numerous measures to reduce this footprint such as donating 1% of their revenue to environmental projects. Source
6. Does the brand (company) also have a policy to reduce/compensate carbon emissions generated from the product supply chain that is beyond own operations (Scope 3)? Patagonia employs initiatives to reduce emissions, but does not communicate any information on its climate footprint towards a climate neutrality goal for its own operations. 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 clothing 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 it does not report whether at least one suspect chemical group, such as phthalates or PFCs 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 (company) have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of its shipping packaging and carrier bags, by reducing, re-using, recycling and responsible sourcing of packaging materials, and does the brand annually report on these results? 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 (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? 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

7 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 provides a list of suppliers further down the supply chain, but it is not clear what percentage of suppliers this represents and how up to date the list is. 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 24% of all its products 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 partners with Fair Trade USA which calculates a living wage and demands a premium for its workers, but Patagonia does not clearly commit to a living wage benchmark for all suppliers. 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 partners with Fair Trade USA to implements measures to achieve the payment of living wages at its apparel manufacturers. Whether first living wage payments are realized is not yet specified however. Source
15. Has the brand (owner) realised payment of living wages for at least 10% of its production volume? Patagonia has realized a premium for 24% of its production volume (or 26,000 of its workers), but it is not clear if this is equivalent to paying at least 10% of its workers a living wage (see link, page 7). 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