Events

Center for Responsible Business

Sustainable Investment & Finance Initiative

Carbon Neutrality by 2025

2018 Case Topic

This case study focuses on Patagonia's goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2025.

More specifically, how can Patagonia, a company that has implementing solutions to the environmental crisis as part of its mission, influence the industry broadly and create a model that other companies are inspired to replicate? Carbon neutrality means going beyond reducing energy use, increasing renewable energy sources and recycled materials, to also influencing policy, sequestering carbon in the soil through regenerative agriculture, and reducing waste in food production, consumption, and disposal.

Both established and unconventional options present challenges. This case will examine existing programs such as carbon offsets and Renewable Energy Certificates, as well as other programs that could offer greater carbon-reducing potential despite difficulties measuring these programs' impacts. Without accurate measurement, Patagonia cannot evaluate its progress, nor can it communicate clearly to consumers without the risk of being seen as “greenwashing.” This case explores these questions to consider how Patagonia can best achieve carbon neutrality for itself, and provide a model for industry to follow suit.

Important Dates


  • November 13, 2017: Rules Released & FAQs Open
  • November 27, 2017: Team Lead Registration Opens
  • December 11, 2017: Submission of FAQs
  • December 14, 2017: Initial FAQ Answers Released
  • December 17, 2017: Team Lead Sign Up Deadline
  • January 12, 2018: Final Team Registration Deadline
  • January 19, 2018: Case Study Release and Submission of Case FAQs
  • January 24, 2018: Final Submission of Case Questions (FAQs)
  • January 29, 2018: Case FAQs Released
  • February 11, 2018: Proposal Submission Deadline
  • February, 2018: Finalist Selection
  • March 2, 2018: Finalists Announcement
  • April 19 (evening) to April 20, 2018: Final event
  • June 1, 2018: Surf with Patagonia!
  • Important Documents


  • Competition Rules
  • Initial FAQs
  • 2018 Case Competition Flyer