Yvon Chouinard has handed ownership of Patagonia to a charitable trust dedicated to climate and other environmental causes. The driving force behind this is his love for the natural world, but it is also a sound decision for Patagonia’s financial future.
At Brand Finance, we have been researching the role that sustainability plays in driving choice. There is considerable variation by geography, by sector, and by market segment, but the evidence is emphatic – a perceived commitment to sustainability is a powerful driver in determining the decisions of customers, investors, potential employees, regulators, and others.
We have valued Patagonia’s brand at over $350 million. As a brand that has differentiated itself so clearly and consistently on its support for environmental causes, a very significant proportion of this value is reliant on Patagonia’s perceived sustainability.
However, even brands that are not positioned as sustainability pioneers can have hundreds of millions, even billions, of dollars of value contingent upon how sustainable they are perceived to be. Businesses must understand how they are perceived, invest in communication, and most importantly, commit to real action.
I look forward to sharing the results of our sustainability research and valuations early next year. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about the role sustainability plays in driving choice for your business, please get in touch.