Lately, it seems like everyone is sporting the Patagonia logo on outwear – and the company’s profits show just that. Better yet, Trump’s tax cuts shaved $10 million off their federal tax bill this year.
As a result, the company is donating all $10 million to non-profit organizations focused on climate change and the environment.
Patagonia’s CEO Rose Marcario posted a letter to LinkedIn sharing details on what the company plans to do with all of the money they saved on taxes this year.
They are not as pleased as you might think about saving money on their taxes, although they are pleased to put the money back where it belongs.
“Based on last year’s irresponsible tax cut, Patagonia will owe less in taxes this year—$10 million less, in fact. Instead of putting the money back into our business, we’re responding by putting $10 million back into the planet. Our home planet needs it more than we do.”Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO
Marcario has no qualms about calling the President out for his dismissal of climate change. After all, the latest National Climate Assessment clearly states that disastrous and irreversible changes to earth will occur by the year 2050 if we don’t make serious changes.
Trump’s response to the report? “I don’t believe it.”
“Far too many have suffered the consequences of global warming in recent months, and the political response has so far been woefully inadequate—and the denial is just evil. Taxes protect the most vulnerable in our society, our public lands and other life-giving resources. In spite of this, the Trump administration initiated a corporate tax cut, threatening these services at the expense of our planet.”Rose Marcario
Protecting the planet is nothing new for this lifestyle outdoorsy brand. In fact, they have long-since donated 1% of all profits to environmental projects around the globe.
Since they originally launched their “1% for the Planet” program in 1985, they have donated over $89 million to related causes.
“We’ve awarded over $89 million in cash and in-kind donations to domestic and international grassroots environmental groups making a difference in their local communities,” the company writes on their website.
“In 2002, founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, created a non-profit corporation to encourage other businesses to do the same.”
1% for the Planet is about more than just Patagonia now, it’s grown into a network of businesses that are passionate about protecting the environment. In proof, they’ve also vowed to donate 1% of their profits to grassroots environmental groups.
As a result, “members of 1% for the Planet affect real change.”
While Patagonia’s efforts to protect the environment may be underappreciated by our current president, Marcario’s efforts were praised by the White House under President Obama in 2015.
The brand has grown louder about their mission to help the planet ever since Trump took office. And, in response to the current Republican stance on climate change, they have also grown more political.
During the 2018 midterm elections, Patagonia endorsed two Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate. Both of them won. This just shows the power that Patagonia and other big-dollar companies that influence popular culture have in our society.
Of course, there are two sides to every story and even when a company does something great for the planet, such as this, there are still going to be haters.
Some of those against Patagonia’s decision to put their tax savings towards environmental protection say that they should have donated the money back to their workers making minimum wage.
Sales associate positions at Patagonia appear to start off at $11 an hour, according to Glassdoor.com. With managers and keyholders making closer to $18 an hour.
A big reason Trump advocates for tax cuts is because of the trickle-down theory, in which wealthy business owners have more money to pay employees and invest elsewhere when they pay less taxes.
Therefore, Patagonia’s decision to donate the money to environmental groups is at least partly political.
The new corporate tax code helps businesses who are literally rolling in the dough save money. I’m not saying it will or will not boost the economy in the future, I’m just saying that the fundamental principles behind this make a lot of hard-working people angry. Especially when, in order to afford big tax breaks, Trump cut funds to programs – many of which relate directly to environmental protection groups.
That being said, it’s quite fitting what Patagonia decided to do with their tax savings.
What do you think?