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Author:   Yvon Chouinard, Ridge Ridgeway, Bob Massie
Publisher:   Patagonia Books
Publication Date:  11/15/2013
Language:   English


We at Patagonia, like all business people, know that long-term income has to exceed long-term expense. To do otherwise is to go bankrupt, as Ernest Hemingway described,in the usual two ways: “Gradually, then suddenly.” Today we are using the equivalent resources of one and a half planets, yet we live on only one. All the indicators of earthly health are in decline: of water, air, arable land, fisheries and biodiversity. How do we reverse this decline in the quality of life (and attendant climate change) before it becomes sudden catastrophe? Most conversations addressing that question hone in on technological solutions. Each year we attend sustainability conferences where the talk centers on innovation as the way to lower resource use and waste. But at these conferences, among decent people doing their best, there is always an elephant in the room, concealed behind a curtain few are willing to draw to the side. The elephant is growth-based capitalism, and the assumption that a growth economy equals prosperity and a healthy society. Yet we know we must consume less, and far more slowly – as well as innovate as quickly and ingeniously as we can. What is a responsible economy? One that allows healthy communities, creates meaningful work, and takes from the earth only what it can replenish—one where all the indicators of health start to improve. What would make up this economy? What could a responsible economy look like? That’s the question we’ll explore with our friends and customers during the coming seasons.
Author Bio:
Yvon Chouinard, a noted alpinist and environmentalist, is the founder and owner of Patagonia, Inc., which Fortune has called “the coolest company on the planet.” He is also the co-founder with Craig Mathews of 1% For The Planet and the author of Let My People Go Surfing and co-author, with Vincent Stanley, of The Responsible Company. RICK RIDGEWAY, is Patagonia’s Vice President of Environmental Affairs. Rick and his team oversee the company’s environmental grants program and multi-year environmental projects including founding Freedom to Roam now integrated into the World Wildlife Fund, and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, with members representing in sales one-third of the $250 billion apparel industry. Before joining Patagonia, Rick was owner/president of Adventure Photo & Film, the world’s most recognized outdoor stock photo and film agency. Rick is a renowned mountaineer who along with three companions became the first American to summit K2. He is known to many through his writing, photography, and Emmy award-winning filmmaking. Bob Massie is the president of the New Economics Institute. An author and ordained Episcopal minister, he received his B.A. from Princeton University, M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, and doctorate from Harvard Business School. From 1989 to 1996 he was the director of the Project on Business, Values, and the Economy at Harvard Divinity School. During his career he has created or led three groundbreaking sustainability organizations, serving as president of Ceres (the largest coalition of investors and environmental groups in the United States), co-founding the Global Reporting Initiative, and initiating the Investor Network on Climate Risk.