Patagonia founder gives away $3 billion company to fight climate change

March 23, 2018 South Lake Tahoe / CA / USA - Patagonia sign above the entrance to the store located near the Gondola
March 23, 2018 South Lake Tahoe / CA / USA - Patagonia sign above the entrance to the store located near the Gondola
In a letter posted on its website, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard declared "Earth is now our only shareholder".

In a radical move, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard has donated his entire company to a climate-focused trust and non-profit organisations.

“While we’re doing our best to address the environmental crisis, it’s not enough. We needed to find a way to put more money into fighting the crisis while keeping the company’s values intact,” he shared.

“Instead of “going public,” you could say we’re “going purpose.” Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we’ll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.”

100 per cent of the company’s voting stock will transfer to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, which has been created to “protect the company’s values.” Meanwhile, 100 per cent of the non-voting stock will go towards the Holdfast Collection, a non-profit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature.

“It’s been nearly 50 years since we began our experiment in responsible business, and we are just getting started. If we have any hope of a thriving planet—much less a thriving business—50 years from now, it is going to take all of us doing what we can with the resources we have. This is another way we’ve found to do our part.

“Despite its immensity, the Earth’s resources are not infinite, and it’s clear we’ve exceeded its limits. But it’s also resilient. We can save our planet if we commit to it.”

Patagonia is worth an estimated $3 billion, according to the New York Times.

Chouinard, a passionate rock climber, environmentalist and philanthropist, founded Patagonia in 1973.


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