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About the Honoree

The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) is pleased to announce that it will present its 2019 Environmental Achievement Award to Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Rose Marcario, Patagonia’s president and CEO, in recognition of their visionary leadership and outstanding environmental stewardship at Patagonia. ELI will present the 2019 Environmental Achievement Award on Tuesday, October 22, in Washington, D.C. As this is its 50th anniversary year, ELI will also present a Founders Award to the people who helped create ELI 50 years ago, as well as an Environmental Futures Award to the next generation of leaders striving to address the environmental challenges of tomorrow.

“Patagonia has become a manifestation of the vision of business as a vehicle for not just making excellent products and achieving financial success, but also for doing good in terms of protecting nature, avoiding harm, and advancing sustainability,” observed ELI President Scott Fulton. “Private environmental governance is a new and important focus of our work, based on the emerging and increasingly important leadership of the business community in advancing high standards of environmental sustainability. With ELI fast approaching its 50th anniversary, we’re honored to recognize Ms. Marcario and Mr. Chouinard for envisioning and leading a business model that advances environmental protection and sustainability with such extraordinary ambition and success.”

From Patagonia’s early beginnings, Mr. Chouinard, as Patagonia’s visionary founder, ensured the company’s dedication to producing sustainable, long-lasting products and supporting grassroots environmental efforts. That support was amplified when Mr. Chouinard co-founded 1% for the Planet, reflecting the company’s commitment to donate 1% of its sales to grassroots environmental groups around the world that are working on solutions to the environmental crisis.  

Ms. Marcario’s work as CEO and formerly CFO has served to expand on Mr. Chouinard’s vision of private-sector leadership and success. Since she joined the company in 2008, Patagonia has dramatically improved its supply chain management efforts and drastically reduced the company’s environmental footprint, while at the same time quadrupling the company’s bottom line, setting an example for and challenge to other corporations aspiring to be environmentally and socially responsible.

“Patagonia is clearly committed to seeking innovative ways to improve sustainability practices and raise the standard for others, and the company exemplifies how environmental responsibility, activism and business success go hand-in-hand,” noted Ben Wilson, Chair of ELI’s Board.

“Patagonia has used its voice to raise awareness of urgent issues facing our environment and has availed itself of the tools of law to preserve and protect our environment. For all of this, ELI would like to offer our sincere thanks and congratulations,” added Mr. Fulton.

ELI will present the Environmental Achievement Award, Founders Award, and Environmental Futures Award at its Annual Award Dinner on October 22. By honoring individuals and organizations for demonstrating outstanding commitment to environmental protection, ELI helps set the standards for the environmental profession. The dinner is a signal opportunity for environmental professionals to forge new bonds of cooperation, while supporting the agenda-setting research, education, and training programs of the Institute. The event now attracts attention year-round, making it a unique gathering of the nation’s environmental leaders, with approximately 800 professionals attending from across the country.