Vice President of Environmental Affairs, Patagonia
RICK RIDGEWAY is Patagonia’s vice president of environmental affairs. He and his team implement the second two parts of the company’s three-part mission statement: “to make the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” He oversees the company’s environmental grant-making, internal and external environmental education, and environmental initiatives including Freedom to Roam, a partnership with World Wildlife Fund to protect wildlife cores and corridors; the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, over 60 of the world’s largest apparel and footwear companies working to develop standardized tools to measure sustainability; and Common Threads, a partnership with customers to take mutual responsibility for the full life-cycle of apparel and footwear. Before joining Patagonia, Ridgeway was owner/president of Adventure Photo & Film, a leading stock photo and film agency. In addition he is recognized as one of the world’s foremost mountaineers. With three companions, he was the first American to summit K2, considered the hardest mountain in the world to climb, and he has done other significant climbs and explorations on all continents. Ridgeway has produced and directed many adventure shows for television; his magazine articles have appeared in Outside and National Geographic; and he is the author of six books, including Seven Summits, The Shadow of Kilimanjaro and Below Another Sky. National Geographic honored him with its Lifetime Achievement in Adventure award. Ridgeway lives with his wife in Ojai, California, and they have three grown children.