The [Patagonia] case competition …inevitably will be one of the greatest highlights from my business school career. Working alongside an interdisciplinary team and presenting to Patagonia’s leadership team not only solidified the importance of diverse minds coming together, but reaffirmed the notion that doing good is good business.” – Aysha Malik (University of Michigan), 2016 Winner

About the Patagonia Case Competition

This one-of-a-kind case competition redefines the relationship between business and a healthy planet.

Graduate students from across the US tackle the interconnected business and sustainability aspects of a current, real-life issue facing the outdoor gear retailer Patagonia. In the first round of competition, interdisciplinary teams submit solutions to a case developed by the Berkeley-Haas Case Series and Patagonia. Senior leaders from Patagonia review all submissions and select finalists to present their solutions to Patagonia executives in person at Berkeley Haas.

For students at Berkeley Haas and beyond, this case competition is an unparalleled opportunity to work on a pressing corporate sustainability issue with one of the most forward thinking companies in the world. Not to mention a unique source of fresh perspectives and innovative ideas for Patagonia leadership. As the competition enters its 5th year, we’ve compiled an extended overview of the competition’s drive to solve Patagonia’s most pressing sustainability challenges here.

2020 Patagonia Case Competition

Key Dates

  • Sep. 2019: Topic for the case released
  • Nov. 2019: Rules posted
  • Jan. 2020: Team sign up deadline
  • Jan. 2020: Case Released
  • Feb. 2020: Case proposals due
  • March 2020: Finalists announced
  • April 2020: Finalist presentations


Team registration is closed. Please check back in fall of 2019 to register for the 2020 Patagonia Case Competition.


The top three teams receive cash prizes. All finalists get to engage with Patagonia executives at the Haas School of Business during the final competition round. The top teams also get to visit Patagonia’s Ventura, California headquarters to experience Patagonia’s culture and discuss the implementation of their solution. Surfing and exploring with the Patagonia team included!


Official rules for the 2019 Patagonia Case Competition can be found HERE. Please review these rules carefully when forming a team and preparing submission materials.

Past Case Competition Topics

2019 Case Topic

Patagonia desires research-driven and scalable solutions that lessen the environmental impact of single-use packaging. This case asks  how Patagonia can distribute all its food and apparel products in packaging that is reusable, biodegradable, renewable, or easily recyclable by 2025.

2018 Case Topic

How Patagonia can best achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 not only for itself, but to provide a model for industry to follow suit.

2017 Case Topic

In light of the recent launch of Patagonia Provisions, the 2017 case study focused on Patagonia’s desire to accelerate regenerative agricultural practices for food.

2016 Case Topic

The 2016 case study concerned DWR “Durable Water Repellent”, a coating applied to clothing to make it more water repellent. DWR loses effectiveness over time as it wears off, necessitating repeated applications or replacement of gear. And DWR, a C8 long-chain fluorocarbon, turns out to be a persistent environmental pollutant that accumulates in rivers and lakes.

Past Winners

2018 Winners

  • First Place, University of Virginia
  • Second Place, Bard College
  • Third Place, Yale University

2017 Winners

  • First Place, Yale University
  • Second Place, University of Pennsylvania
  • Third Place, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2016 Winners

  • First Place, University of Michigan
  • Second Place, Yale University
  • Third Place, University of California, Berkeley