“As a business leader, you can’t turn away from these issues. You can’t say, ‘I’m going to go make a profit while our world is burning and dying.’” Not every business is game to try to save the world from environmental disaster, but Patagonia President and CEO Rose Marcario believes that they should be. Marcario was interviewed by Tara Hill, MBA ’20, as part of the Conradin von Gugelberg Memorial, which focuses on environmental responsibility among business students. An outspoken critic of corporate greed and a proponent of Patagonia’s employee-centered culture, Marcario said she believes that reaching commercial success and respecting all stakeholders go hand-in-hand: “You can have a great business and a quality product but you can also do the right thing by the environment, by your employees, by your community.” ⁣

Patagonia builds this philosophy into their business model by funneling profits to environmental activists and often jumping into political and cultural debates. “I don’t want to think about what happened in a quarter. I want to look into the eyes of my employee’s child and think: ‘What’s going to happen in her lifetime?’”⁣

As CEO, Marcario has overseen Patagonia’s profits quadruple, all while staying true to its mission of environmental stewardship. “The foundation of the business is making a great product and then standing behind that product. I don’t think that is any way bifurcated from caring about our planet and our environment.” ⁣


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