Building a better product...or just good PR?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
 | 
Chris Woodward, Billy Davis (OneNewsNow.com)

Patagonia logoA clothing company that's throwing millions of dollars at environmental causes is failing to understand how the real world works, says an environmental analyst.

California-based Patagonia states that it has spread $74 million among smaller, lesser-known environmental groups that are combating climate change, cleaning up rivers, and protecting endangered habitat, among other causes.

A total of 824 groups received grant money during the current year, the corporation's website states.

Patagonia's pledge to back groups that push for local, organic and "sustainable" farming techniques caught the attention of Bonner Cohen, a PhD, who studies energy and the environmental issues at the National Center for Public Policy Research.

Save Our Planet face paint"There is no way in the world that you can feed what will soon be eight billion people living on the earth through organic and sustainable agriculture. It cannot be done," Cohen tells OneNewsNow.

Patagonia is known for blending environmental causes into its corporate policy, pledging to "build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis."

The corporation admits on its website that it makes products in 16 countries, including pollution-causing countries such as China, and has no plan to "disengage from good factories in countries with poor environmental and human rights records."

An internal audit in 2011 found some foreign workers for Patagonia were victims of human trafficking, website The Atlantic reported last year.

The corporation, meanwhile, is spreading "modest grants" among hundreds of small environmental groups.

power plant smokestacks"This is yet another effort on the part of a company that would like the world to believe that it is concerned about the environment," Bonner says of the effort. "So it engages in a lot of very politically fashionable causes to protect the planet."

If you study the Patagonia website, he adds, the word "planet" appears again and again.

"But not a word about the people who live on the planet," he says.

If the corporation and environmental groups want to help the earth, Cohen further says, then they should support "the rich bounty that modern agriculture, modern science, modern technology provide."

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