Leadership

Patagonia will use its $10 million tax break to save the planet — and thinks other companies should, too

Tourists leave the Patagonia outdoor clothing shop in Vail, Colorado. 
Robert Alexander | Getty Images
Tourists leave the Patagonia outdoor clothing shop in Vail, Colorado. 

Outdoor apparel company Patagonia was poised to save a whopping $10 million thanks to federal tax cuts this year. Its CEO Rose Marcario says the company won't be keeping the money.

Corporations in the U.S. received a windfall from the GOP tax code overhaul which lowered the federal corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Instead of reinvesting the windfall back into the company, Marcario announced Wednesday that Patagonia will pledge $10 million to different nonprofit environmental groups "committed to protecting air, land and water and finding solutions to the climate crisis."

Marcario's statement comes just days after the Fourth National Climate Assessment reported that climate change in the U.S. could cost the economy billions of dollars and will affect low-income communities the worst. Marcario called the political response to the climate crisis "woefully inadequate."

"Taxes protect the most vulnerable in our society, our public lands and other life-giving resources," wrote Marcario on LinkedIn.

Marcario says she hopes companies that do plan on investing their tax windfalls into their businesses do so with the planet in mind. "[They should] consider using some of their tax cut to converting to greener energy, greener supply chains or funding grassroots activism protecting air, water and soil," Marcario tells CNBC Make It.

Ultimately, she hopes Patagonia's stance will inspire others in positions of power to follow her lead.

"I hope other leaders learn that their customers care about the climate crisis and want corporations to act urgently," says Marcario. "We are running out of time."

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