The Quick Rundown
Patagonia is a case study that demonstrates two big things. First, smart and ambitious environmental initiatives pay off. And second, although it takes some creativity, courage, and hard work, most companies can do this.
When you’re in the conservation business, you can’t ignore money. Conservation is a capital intensive undertaking. Rather than ignore funding, you need to leverage it to your advantage.
Right after I joined The Nature Conservancy, we signed a deal to buy some 300,000 acres of pristine land in Montana. It was a fantastic deal. The land was gorgeous. All of the species that had thrived in the area when Lewis and Clark visited were still there! Plus, we had to do the deal — there were no other conservation buyers. If we didn’t step up, it would likely go to a developer who would once again pave paradise to put up a parking lot. But the deal was tricky for a couple of reasons.