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Protect the ocean so it can protect us

Our future is tied to the ocean. Its shared seas connect us through food, culture and sport. The home of amazing, abundant life, it’s also a powerful climate solution. Yet the practice of bottom trawling threatens to destroy this precious resource—bulldozing our ocean floor, undermining small-scale fisheries and deepening the climate crisis. Let's end this destructive practice, starting with an immediate ban in marine protected areas and inshore zones.

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Ashok Thomas

Interim Accounting & Supply Chain Manager

Start year: 2018
Work location: Amsterdam, NL

Why do you work for Patagonia?

A couple of years ago, Patagonia’s mission statement changed to “We’re in business to save our home planet”. This purpose is clear and fulfilling, however, also very challenging. And where do you start?

One of the projects I’ve picked up is calculating the carbon footprint of our operations. The goal is to get better insights into our carbon footprint and understand better where we can intervene to reduce and offset. This contains all inventory flows – products travelling from factory to warehouse, from warehouse to customer and many other movements. With these insights we can make interventions in how we do business and determine what causes the least harm for our planet, whilst still serving our customers.

What was your path to Patagonia?

Before I joined Patagonia, I was located in India for six months, working on multiple charity projects. These were dedicated to improving the lives of women and children in less developed parts of the country. I learned a lot about the power of communities - you can see the benefits when you stick together and help each other out.

How has working for Patagonia changed you?

Coming from a corporate background, I had to adjust myself to Patagonia in the first six months as things here are different compared to other companies. Employees can bring their dogs to the office, people walk around barefoot and washing 100 plates during kitchen duties is part of daily life within the company. This is also the charm of the company - you get to know your colleagues better while rinsing plates. And as you are rinsing the plates, you discover a diverse and international workforce within our EMEA team.

Tell us about your work on the Environmental Grants Council.

One percent of all Patagonia sales go to NGOs fighting against climate change and on environmental issues. We have an environmental team within the company, who are the experts on this topic. And as a Grants Council – made up of people from many different departments within the company - we assess and discuss the grant submissions that we receive from NGOs across Europe.

Who is the most memorable person you have met whilst working for Patagonia?

As a gatekeeper of the company, culture and values, there is one person who keeps us all in sync and that is Christelle. She is the ‘mother’ of our company. A lot of our colleagues come from abroad to join Patagonia in Amsterdam, and they are new to the country and city. On the first day, Christelle will make you feel at home and that you are part of the family. With a start like that, you are ready to get to work.

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