Michael W. Crooke, chief executive of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia Inc. and its parent Lost Arrow Corp., will give a talk at Cornell University April 24 at 5 p.m. in B-45 Warren Hall.
Crooke's talk, "Committed to the Core: What Does It Mean To Be an Environmentally Responsible Company?" is sponsored by Cornell's Department of Textiles and Apparel. The talk and reception to follow are free and open to the public. A slide show at 4:30 p.m. of local outdoor activities will precede the talk.
Crooke has said that an important goal is to continue to champion environmental responsibility for outdoor companies and business enterprises worldwide. Patagonia, a designer and distributor of outdoor clothing, based in Ventura, Calif., has a strong commitment to environmental responsibility. The company points out it has been donating 10 percent of its annual profits (or 1 percent of sales, whichever is greater) since 1985 to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups, totaling $15 million in cash, plus gear worth several million dollars. Patagonia's products, company officials say, are made from recycled polyester and organic cotton, instead of pesticide-intensive conventional cotton, where possible.
In 1998, Patagonia became the first California company to buy all its electricity from newly constructed renewable energy plants. Among its many environmental actions, Patagonia's Denver store obtains its electricity from wind power and the company uses photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight directly into electricity at its Reno store. In addition, the Reno store uses recycled materials, solar-tracking mirrors, energy-efficient lighting systems and carpet made from 100 percent recycled polyester.
Prior to taking his position at Patagonia in 1999, Crooke served as chief executive and chairman of Pearl Izumi, a cycling and performance apparel company based in Colorado. He also was general manager of Kelty Packs for several years and has worked with other outdoor companies, including Yakima and Moonstone Mountaineering. He has served for five years on the board of directors of the Conservation Alliance, the outdoor industry's environmental grant-giving organization, including one year as board president.