While many companies are still pursuing blind profits, these businesses are following the path of circular economy, transparency and technology for good
Do you know what your clothes are made of? Maybe of cotton obtained from monoculture fields, full of pesticides, or of organic hemp or cotton more environmentally friendly? You would probably know if it’s the latter – companies that walk the ‘green’ walk are making an effort to communicate to customers about their sustainable practices.
Companies like Patagonia, the apparel industry that, for decades, has invested in fair trade, sustainable supply chain and recycling projects, are examples of a growing business trend where transparency and commitment to the planet are the rules, while good revenues are a natural consequence. Ryan Gellert, general manager of Patagonia for Europe, was one of the executives invited to share his experience during the Doing Good, Doing Well (DGDW) conference, Europe’s biggest event on responsible businesses. Organized by MBA students of IESE Business School, the event took place in Barcelona, Spain, on 4-5 March.
Gellert’s keynote about Climate Crisis and the Role of Businesses went about the importance of being socially responsible not only as a business but about providing good quality jobs for employees and vendors, promoting thoughtful consumption among clients and pursuing carbon neutrality. It also went as a committed promoter of change. Besides the main apparel business, Patagonia has invested in documentaries about nature, has set a venture capital to support green businesses and has a project for grassroots environmental activists, among other social good actions. Gellert stressed the importance of consumers, employees and civil society to make changes through decisions like purchasing a product or applying for a job. “Individuals need to act and not only be someone who just falls into a path that was designed for them”, he said.
Another company that has shown its commitment to the future was Schneider Electric, represented by its Chief Strategy Officer, Emmanuel Lagarrigue. The company has developed many clean energy projects throughout the years, providing green, affordable solutions to big cities big or small communities in rural Africa or the Amazon rainforest. In his presentation “Better Businesses for a Better Planet”, he stated that the world has no space for greenwashing, or companies faking sustainable practices. “There are many recent examples of businesses lying about their commitment to the planet. At the age of digitization and transparency, it’s not allowed anymore. People are becoming more conscious and companies with these fake practices will be short-lived”, said Mr. Lagarrigue.
Isabel Garro, Special Adviser for the Agenda 2030, Spanish High Commission, gave an inspirational talk about how businesses should keep reinventing the future of our planet. “Every entrepreneur is a superhero because they work with purpose and passion. We have no right to be pessimistic”, she said.
The DGDW, a Horyou media partner, covers a range of topics like Future of Work. Feeding a 10 Billion World, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Follow DGDW and keep informed about their activities, and about Horyou’s coverage of the conference on Twitter.