Supply Chain Environmental Responsibility Program
The purpose of Patagonia’s Supply Chain Environmental Responsibility Program is to measure, reduce and eliminate the environmental impacts of manufacturing Patagonia products and materials. We implement our program at supplier facilities all over the world and cover a broad range of impact areas, including environmental management systems, chemicals, water use, water emissions, energy use, greenhouse gases, other air emissions and waste.
This program is based on internal standards, utilizes industry-wide tools, such as the Higg Index, and recognizes third-party certification programs, such as the bluesign® system, as ways that our suppliers can show how they are meeting Patagonia’s expectations. Beyond the program’s minimum requirements, suppliers are encouraged to demonstrate environmental excellence by implementing better and best practices, so we can recognize them as environmentally responsible supply-chain partners.
Where We Are
We regularly evaluate manufacturing facilities used by Patagonia suppliers and potential new suppliers to assess whether they meet Patagonia’s minimum requirements for environmental compliance, performance and best practices. This process is integrated into how we make supply-chain decisions, such as approving and managing new and active suppliers as well as their manufacturing facilities.
Over the years, we have reduced environmental-related impacts in our supply chain as we learn more about our suppliers’ facilities and work with them on training and improvements where needed. For example, some supplier facilities now have wastewater and air-emission treatment systems that go beyond what is legally required to meet Patagonia’s more stringent global requirements. Other facilities have eliminated hazardous chemicals and implemented safe chemical-management procedures. And where facilities are not able to meet Patagonia’s requirements, they are not approved to be Patagonia suppliers.
As our suppliers surpass our minimum compliance requirements, we are focusing more on performance, the implementation of best practices and continuous improvement. For example, we are currently working on a new carbon-reduction performance program with key raw-material suppliers that supports the decarbonization of their operations.
We aim to reduce the carbon footprint of manufacturing through a wide range of resources and incentives that prioritize energy efficiency, renewable electricity and the use of less carbon-intensive fuels in order to reduce our collective impact on the climate.
Collaborating with suppliers and other brands is our best opportunity to drive improvement in a shared supply chain. Patagonia has helped found several collaborations, including the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index, the Textile Exchange, the Regenerative Organic Alliance, the Outdoor Industry Association’s Sustainability Working Group and the recently launched Climate Action Corps. Each year, more and more companies are joining these initiatives and utilizing these tools to measure and communicate their environmental impacts, which allows for industry-wide benchmarking and large-scale collaborative improvement.