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CommuteCon 2019

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Climb, Climate, Commute

Paul Hendricks
Environmental Responsibility Manager

Session Description

Paul Hendricks works at the environmental responsibility manager for Patagonia, a leading outdoor clothing, adventure gear, and accessories brand. Patagonia is widely considered a trend-setter in corporate responsibility, and Paul joined us to talk about how Patagonia has embraced sustainable commuting as part of its overall stewardship policy platform.


Patagonia has long integrated its love and care for nature as part of its corporate identity. Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the southern coast of the United States, the company experienced a surge in employee activism that embraced reduced reliance on fossil fuels. That commitment played a major role in shaping the company’s new approach to its commuter programs.


Paul helped design, refine, and introduce Patagonia’s signature “Drive-Less Program,” which uses the proven power of cash rewards as a way to drive sustained commuter behavior change. Patagonia began to offer employees $2 for every commute made using a mode other than solo driving. Trips in either direction (to or from work) qualify for the payout, which was capped at a generous $500 per year. Thus, commuters could earn cash rewards on as many as 250 days per year, which essentially covers every working day on the annual calendar.


Patagonia has seen the program go on to enjoy major success since its introduction in 2010, with Paul revealing a total savings of 855,680 solo-driving trip miles during the 2018 calendar year alone. While Patagonia leveraged a unique aspect of its company culture in fostering the success of the program, it still stands as an excellent example of the amazing results companies can generate by encouraging commuters to act on their shared values.


You can learn more about Patagonia and its remarkable “Drive-Less Program” success story by viewing Paul’s full CommuteCon presentation.