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New Age coming

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Published on Oct 26, 2011

"We're entering into a new age and it's just starting to shape up in front of us right now," says Rick Ridgeway, vice president, environmental initiatives and special media for Patagonia, the outdoor clothing company.

When it comes to sustainability, Patagonia walks the talk with programs such as the Common Threads Initiative, Freedom to Roam, Our Common Waters and The Footprint Chronicles.

Ridgeway is well qualified to promote Patagonia's environmental initiatives as he is a highly accomplished mountaineer, explorer, film-maker and author, prompting Rolling Stone magazine to call him "the real life Indiana Jones." In 1976, Ridgeway was on the second American team to climb Mount Everest. Two years later he and three others were the first Americans to reach the top of K2 -- the world's second tallest mountain behind Mount Everest -- and the first from any country to do it without supplemental oxygen.

In this first of six Sustainability Insights videos, Ridgeway says: "The new age is going to take the complete consequence of doing business on this planet and start to measure it."

The smart companies see it coming, Ridgeway adds. "They're managing and adopting their operations and practices in advance of being forced into a compliant measure, the full impact of their manufacturing. They know that one of the biggest drivers of that change is ultimately going to be you and I -- the consumers. When we are given the tools to choose one product over another based on its environmental compliance, that's going to be a day of reckoning for a lot of big companies."

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