“The [Patagonia] case competition ...inevitably will be one of the greatest highlights from my business school career. Working alongside an interdisciplinary team and presenting to Patagonia's leadership team not only solidified the importance of diverse minds coming together, but reaffirmed the notion that doing good is good business.” - Aysha Malik (University of Michigan), 2016 Winner
This one-of-a-kind case competition redefines the relationship between business and a healthy planet.
Graduate students from across the US tackle the interconnected business and sustainability aspects of a current, real-life issue facing the outdoor gear retailer Patagonia. In the first round of competition, interdisciplinary teams submit solutions to a case developed by the Berkeley-Haas Case Series and Patagonia. Senior leaders from Patagonia review all submissions and select finalists to present their solutions to Patagonia executives in person at Berkeley-Haas.
In light of the recent launch of Patagonia Provisions, the 2017 case study focused on Patagonia’s desire to accelerate regenerative agricultural practices for food.
The 2016 case study concerned DWR – Durable Water Repellent, a coating applied to clothing to make it more water repellent. DWR loses effectiveness over time as it wears off, necessitating repeated applications or replacement of gear. And DWR, a C8 long-chain fluorocarbon, turns out to be a persistent environmental pollutant that accumulates in rivers and lakes.
The top three teams receive cash prizes. All finalists get to engage with Patagonia executives at the Haas School of Business during the final competition round. The top teams also get to visit Patagonia's Ventura, California headquarters to experience Patagonia's culture and discuss the implementation of their solution. Surfing and exploring with the Patagonia team included!