As discussed in the previous article, addressing climate change takes corporate leadership. Certain companies are leading this change in their boardrooms. They are putting climate change on the agenda, giving the environment a say and “going purpose”.
One of these companies is Patagonia.
Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia is making changes in the boardroom.
Erik McCormick writes in the Guardian that Chouinard’s family donated 2% of all Patagonia’s stock and decision-making power to a trust, which will oversee the company’s mission and values. The other 98% will be going to the non-profit Holdfast Collective “which will use every dollar received to fight the environmental crisis, protect nature and biodiversity, and support thriving communities”.
The new structure allows Patagonia to operate as a for-profit whose proceeds go to benefitting the environment. Patagonia is anchoring climate change strategy into its organisational purpose as can be seen in their:
- Philosophy of the “earth is our ONLY shareholder”
- Mission to “save our home planet”
Yvon Chouinard comments that “Instead of ‘going public’, you could say we’re ‘going purpose’. “Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we’ll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.”
Faith in Nature
Another great example of a company changing the climate in the boardroom is the eco-beauty company Faith in Nature.
Isabella Kaminski writes in the Guardian that they are part of a growing global movement to assign nature legal rights. The company has made the decision to add an external non-executive director to speak at board meetings on behalf of the natural world. The aim is to prevent greenwashing by holding the board to account.
Faith in Nature is an example of a company adding more voices to the boardroom and diversifying its board. Their priority is to have “ a positive impact on nature as a whole” and “to minimise the prospect of any harmful impact of its business operations on nature”.
Overall, these two companies are fantastic examples of organisations that have anchored climate change strategy into their organisational purpose and added more voices to the boardroom.
How might we use these case studies to make changes in our own boardroom?