Freeport, ME, April 22, 2021
In Celebration of Earth Day: The history of Earth Day and why it’s important to L.L.Bean
L.L.Bean sponsors and outfits the Everest Peace Climb
“My great-grandfather L.L. was a conservationist, understanding the connection between the joy of the outdoors and the need to protect our precious resources. Land access and preservation has always been one of L.L.Bean's core values.”
—Shawn Gorman, Executive Chairman of the Board and Great-Grandson of L.L. Bean
Earth Day, celebrated every year on April 22, is a day set aside to increase our awareness of environmental issues. It also gives us an occasion to reflect on the beauty (and restorative power!) of time spent outside. As people around the world gather to clean up local parks or rivers, run recycling drives in their neighborhoods, or plant trees in their communities – we at L.L.Bean believe this is an important day to pause and consider our relationship to the environment. We believe that a love for the outdoors cultivates a sense of stewardship for the outdoors—and that protecting the natural world is imperative as we continue to enjoy all it has to offer.
In fact, one of our favorite commemorations took place on the 20th anniversary of Earth Day in 1990 when L.L.Bean sponsored the Mount Everest Earth Day 20 International Peace Climb. It was led by Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Mt. Everest, and Bean’s very own then-president, Leon Gorman, joined for part of the journey. L.L.Bean outfitted the entire team of climbers, from the US, China, and Russia, with special mountaineering gear. The climb aimed to demonstrate that the world’s superpowers could work together to accomplish great things. The climb also left no trace – with crews cleaning up decades-worth of debris left at the top of the world.
Today we continue to invest in the outdoors. In 2020, we donated $6 million to 100+ outdoor and community-enriching organizations to advance outdoor access for all, including multi-year partnerships with the National Park Foundation and The Trust for Public Land. In partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, we launched Green Hour, a 6-month program of 48 activities to help kids break from “screen time” for “green time.” We also recently published our 2025 sustainability goals as we continue to focus on ways to lessen our impact.
This year, on Earth Day’s 51st anniversary, we’ll continue in this legacy—celebrating the outdoors and continuing in our commitments to not only preserve it but ensure more people in more places can seek out its benefits.