Patagonia sells to charity, Adobe takes Figma & UK gov announces energy support package

We've been away for a couple of weeks, but fear not, your tech, energy, sustainability and IoT fix is back! It's been anything but slow news over the last few weeks, with huge updates rippling through the tech and business worlds, so as always, we're bringing our roundup of the best bits.
Hark Friday Five

Here’s what we’ve got for you this week:

  • Patagonia: Billionaire boss gives fashion firm away to fight climate change.
  • Adobe’s big bet on the future with Figma acquisition.
  • In pictures: Activists take over billboards to call out impact of flying on global carbon emissions.
  • GSK Unveils Sustainability Requirements for Suppliers.
  • Government outlines plans to help cut energy bills for businesses.

Patagonia: Billionaire boss gives fashion firm away to fight climate change


Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard has given away his company to a charitable trust. If you haven’t heard about this yet, then read this article immediately. This story is an incredible display of compassion toward the planet and a clear commitment to helping fight against the climate crisis. Climate change leaders with deep pockets, like Chouinard and Bill Gates, can make a gigantic impact on how we navigate the coming challenges around protecting the planet – from raising awareness, to simply investing in restorative measures.

The label has amassed a cult following due to sustainability moves like guaranteeing clothes for life and offering reasonably priced repairs. Patagonia’s chairman Charles Conn said cheap fast fashion was “anathema” to the brand.

Adobe’s big bet on the future with Figma acquisition

Adobe’s big bet on the future has run headlong into a profound mood shift among tech investors © REUTERS

What happens when a market dominator acquires a market disrupter? I suppose we’re about to find out now that Adobe has acquired Figma.

Adobe’s $20bn purchase of Figma was the largest ever offered for a private US tech company. While the average cloud-based software company is trading at below 10 times annual recurring revenue, Adobe is paying 50 times.

The challenge is to show it is also a rationale response to a giant new market opportunity. Adobe was already moving in this direction, announcing a “freemium” version of its software last year. But joining forces with Figma brings an inevitable clash of cultures that could lead to the loss of jobs.

In pictures: Activists take over billboards to call out impact of flying on global carbon emissions

The above image is an example of some of the tongue-in-cheek, and poignant artwork that Brandalism has installed at 500 different sites in 15 European cities. The satirical artwork highlights the role of airline marketing in driving up CO2 emissions. Airline brands referenced include KLM, Lufthansa, British Airways, Ryanair, Easyjet and SAS Airlines.

The one really points a finger (I’ll you decide which one) at the current state of airline marketing – and flagrant greenwashing (which in some cases has led to lawsuits).

GSK Unveils Sustainability Requirements for Suppliers

GSK’s commendable new program requires suppliers to make sustainability commitments and improve in areas including emissions, energy, heat, transport, waste, water and biodiversity.

40% of GSK’s carbon footprint resides in its supply chain, and suppliers account for a substantial part of the company’s impact on water, waste and biodiversity globally.

The way we consume and pollute needs to be addressed all the way through the supply chain. Businesses, suppliers and government need to work together to make this happen on a national scale. In the meantime, businesses like GSK will lead the way.

Government outlines plans to help cut energy bills for businesses

You might’ve noticed us talking about this one on socials recently… The government are cutting energy bills for UK businesses, charities and public-sector organisations. This protects many businesses that may have otherwise had to close down – and potentially staves off the dreaded £20 pint.

What it doesn’t do, in my opinion, is address the long-term issue of energy consumption. I recently wrote an article that dives into how IoT (for energy monitoring specifically) could be a better solution for the energy crisis in the long term.

If you’d like to know more about how the government are helping businesses with this new support package, you can read the full press release here.

That’s everything for this weeks Hark Friday Five, thanks for reading – we’ll see you next week.

Carlos Nisbet
Carlos Nisbet
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