Patagonia Action Works | The Webby Awards

Webby for Good is a collaborative program formed by The Webby Awards and WP Engine to showcase Webby-recognized projects built to change the world.

In the words of Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, "Evil wins if we do nothing. So do something." - Patagonia and Someoddpilot Team
What’s the elevator pitch for your project?

Sign up, show up, take action—it's like a matchmaking site for those who care about our planet. Patagonia Action Works connects grassroots organizations working on environmental issues with passionate individuals who want to get involved. The platform allows local environmental groups to directly interact with Patagonia's customer base in their communities and post opportunities that will help them strengthen their cause. This tool applies modern e-commerce techniques to an activist network, targeting an engaged audience with a call to action.

What was the impetus for this project? What real-world challenge were you trying to solve?

With the declining state of the global environment and the drastic lack of government support in the US, it is more important now than ever that corporations pick up where the government has dropped off. To create real change in a political ecosystem working against the brand's core values, it was time for Patagonia to think bigger. Patagonia Action Works is a response-driven, relationship-building digital tool that elevates grassroots activists and connects them with committed individuals who want to make a difference. It was driven by a desire to transform brand values into tangible actions. In the words of Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, "Evil wins if we do nothing. So do something."

Once you settled on your idea, what was your first step in moving it forward?

Bringing Patagonia's 40-year-old granting program into a modern, digitally connected context required brainstorming, prototyping, user testing, partnerships, and the formation of an internal team to keep it running. We first talked to Patagonia's grantees. Through surveying, we learned that grantees would benefit most from increased access to Patagonia’s motivated customer community and that customers trust the brand to evaluate opportunities for them to get involved. From there, we identified an impactful way to create connections between these communities that are more meaningful and diverse than current activism platforms but less restrictive than traditional programmatic volunteering.

Was there a moment during the project where you ran into a hurdle; or faced a problem you didn’t know how to solve? Take us to this moment, what happened and what did you do next?

Transforming an internal grant system into a public-facing platform is a true evolution in corporate social responsibility—and when we began this endeavor, nothing like it existed. In the initial ideation phase, figuring out how this would manifest presented a challenge. Through iterative collaboration sessions, there were too many ideas to accomplish in the given timeframe, requiring us to narrow down to an MVP that was impactful and powerful enough to stand behind the Patagonia brand. It took months to decide on the highest priority items and to whittle this list down into a succinct product that could successfully build on internal accomplishments through empowering the public to join.

Did the real-world impact meet your expectations? Can you share an example?

The arrival of Patagonia Action Works brought needed support to organization leaders, as it would increase their long-term capacity to achieve their goals. To date, access to Patagonia's engaged consumer base resulted in 215k+ meaningful advocacy actions—skills-based volunteering, event attendance, petition signatures, and donations. During this time, volunteering resulted in 13k+ hours donated for high-value skills, such as web development, language, and strategy, worth $2.9M in total value created. With 17 million branded impressions and 725k+ user sessions to date, growing this motivated network will continue to empower local environmental groups and connect communities across the globe.

What technologies/media did you use to develop this project (AI, Social Media, WordPress, etc.)?

We know that there are many types of users that need to interact with this product, from a consumer, content-creator, and administrative purview. We couldn’t think of a better CMS than Wordpress, with its ease of use and flexibility. We also used a combination of Wordpress and Single Page Applications to collapse and optimize existing internal workflows into one grand process. Patagonia employed standard marketing practices to promote Patagonia Action Works and its grantees while also encouraging consumer and grantee engagement. These tools include social media platforms, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and integration within its e-commerce platform, Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

Credits

  • Brand Creative Director John Goodwin Patagonia
  • Global Marketing Operations Manager Lisa Polley Patagonia
  • Activism Marketing Coordinator Sam Murch Patagonia
  • Senior Manager, Environmental Marketing Whitney Clapper Patagonia
  • Senior Manager, Brand + Digital Marketing Scott Carrington Patagonia
  • Environmental Grants Manager Lisa Myers Patagonia
  • Managing Editor Meaghen Brown Patagonia
  • Director of Photography Eugenie Frerichs Patagonia
  • Online Marketing Operations Manager Spencer Douglas Patagonia
  • Interactive Designer Taylor Cox Patagonia
  • Marketing Operation Coordinator Hailey Keeter Patagonia
  • Senior Graphic Designer Peter McBride Patagonia
  • E-Media Editor Sarah Hartigan Patagonia
  • Vice President Marketing Cory Bayers Patagonia
  • Vice President of Environmental Activism Lisa Pike Patagonia
  • Senior Global Creative Director Bill Boland Patagonia
  • Senior Director PR & Communications Corley Kenna Patagonia
  • Product Manager Samantha Levy Patagonia
  • Activism Marketing Manager Claire Goodrich Patagonia
  • Action Works Marketing Coordinator Haley Schroeder Patagonia
  • Creative Director, Founder Chris Eichenseer Someoddpilot
  • Managing Director, Partner Annika Welander Someoddpilot
  • Technology Director Kamil Kecki Someoddpilot
  • Design Director Anton Jeludkov Someoddpilot
  • UX Designer Maria Surawska Someoddpilot
  • Developer Caroline Kenworthy Someoddpilot
  • Product Manager Ellen Evangelides Someoddpilot
  • Senior Designer Jon Aguayo Someoddpilot
  • Videographer Connor Weitz Someoddpilot
  • Designer Becca Christman Someoddpilot
  • Developer Sarah Rooney Someoddpilot
  • Lead Developer Vince Smolucha Someoddpilot

About the Corporate Social Responsibility category

Sites that showcase a company's commitment to encouraging community growth and development, and to activities and programs that benefit the environment, consumers, employees, and the public.