Casey Sheahan, Keen – Hero of Conscious Capitalism
When Casey Sheahan was named President of KEEN footwear in 2016, it was said that Sheahan would bring “a successful track record in building world-renown brands with a passion for sustainability and activism.” Since assuming leadership of KEEN, Sheahan has done just that- helping to take KEEN to the next level of business performance while also increasing the brand’s dedication to serving the community and environment. Combining a powerful purpose with a culture that cares about both profit and mother earth, Sheahan is an exemplary conscious capitalist.
In an interview on his plans as CEO, Sheahan declared, “Our underlying principles are innovation, sustainability, and welfare. That distinguishes us from others. We are a brand that has a strong mission and purpose in its business. That is a lot more inspiring than to say: We have grown 20 percent in the last year and will continue to grow by 10 percent this year. No one finds that exciting. But it is exciting when we say that we want to make our supply chain and our products as clean as possible and that we want to inspire other companies.”
This creed has long been a part of Sheahan and was reflected in his previous leadership as CEO of Patagonia for 9 years, as well leading the Conservation Alliance and co-founding the Conscious Global Leadership Institute. They understand the importance of values such as quality, integrity, personal health, and caring for others. Sheahan has taught, and shown, that these values need to be pursued by a conscious leader who wants to embed them into a conscious corporate culture. For example, he once said, “At its core, business is a form of human social organization — people coming together to do something with purpose and to create value for themselves, each other and others around them.” In other words, conscious capitalism is the wave of the future and Sheahan is a part of that wave.
Towards these ends, Sheahan has led KEEN in donating over $15 million to various nonprofit organizations that benefit the planet and local communities. He has also overseen improved scrutiny of KEEN’s supply chains in order to ensure that they are responsibly checking that all labor and environmental conditions are at the highest ethical standards- even if those supply centers are third-party ones. Other programs also include ones designed to divert and recycle up to 81% of waste at certain facilities.
Under Sheahan, KEEN has also partnered with organizations such as The Conservation Alliance, Leave No Trace, American Whitewater, Forest Park Conservatory, and the Outdoor Alliance. These nonprofits work in environmental protection, education, clean-up, and restoration. A total of $100,000 has been given to some of these, not including donations of supplies such as waterproof work boots to clean-up crews. Furthermore, KEEN has also granted $320,000 total to 56 organizations to 26 programs in the US and in 11 countries overseas.