From March 2022, the energy consumed by Patagonia’s UK stores will be supplied by a community-owned renewable energy project, Energy Garden. Community Energy is a system of energy production in which groups of citizens produce their own renewable power and share the economic benefits among the local community. It enables a move away from big, extractive energy monopolies that control the systems of power and money whilst exacerbating the climate crisis.
This is the latest move in the company’s long history of environmental activism and the most recent work as part of We the Power, Patagonia’s Europe-wide campaign to encourage citizens to imagine a new energy system that is local, community-owned, renewable and rooted in bringing social and economic benefits to local communities.
Patagonia’s two UK stores in Manchester and Bristol, and its Manchester showroom, need around 80 MW per year and Patagonia has entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to source this from Energy Garden’s solar array in Streatham, London. This PPA has been facilitated by Younity, an organisation dedicated to supporting the growth of community energy.
For every kilowatt of electricity Patagonia buys from Energy Garden, Patagonia will also pay an additional “Social Premium” to support Energy Garden’s work with local communities. Through this premium, Patagonia provides additional financial support to Energy Garden, above and beyond the procurement of renewable energy. This premium will be used by Energy Garden to support the delivery of social and environment benefits through its programme of activities, including community engagement, schools-based education, and youth training.
Beth Thoren, Environmental Action and Initiatives Director said:
“Getting this agreement in place demonstrated to us the complex challenges that community energy projects face in the UK. We hope that, by going through this process, we have opened doors for businesses, of all sizes, to enter their own agreements with Energy Garden and other community energy projects. Patagonia’s UK stores have a small footprint – as there’s just two of them, and a Manchester showroom - but this Power Purchase Agreement has a greater impact, making it easier for others to purchase community energy.”
Agamemnon Otero, MBE the founder of Energy Garden, said:
“This Power Purchase Agreement with Patagonia is the first of its kind. We have focused for years on having clear, demonstrable outcomes linked to the sale of renewable energy. Working with Patagonia to agree the social premium is a major breakthrough. This is now a model for businesses to support community energy projects like Energy Garden, while furthering their aims of corporate social responsibility. Patagonia has always been a trailblazer; we would love to see more businesses following this lead.”