Patagonia Founder Just Donated $3 Billion Entire Company to Fight Climate Change


Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia.

Thanks to Jeff Johnson and Patagonia

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, his wife and two grown children are giving away their property in the clothing maker he started some 50 years ago, dedicating all of the company’s profits to projects and organizations that will protect and protect wild land and biodiversity. will fight the climate crisis.

The company is worth about $3 billion, according to the New York Times.

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In a letter about the decision, published on Patagonia’s website on Wednesday, Choiunard wrote about “reshaping capitalism,” saying:

“While we are doing our best to address the environmental crisis, it is not enough. We had to find a way to put more money into fighting the crisis while keeping the company’s values ​​intact. One option was to open Patagonia to sell and donate all the money But we couldn’t be sure that a new owner would uphold our values ​​or keep our team of people working around the world.

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Another path was to take the company public. What a disaster that would have been. Even well-intentioned publicly traded companies are under too much pressure to make short-term profits at the expense of long-term vitality and accountability.

Frankly, there were no good options available. So we made our own.”

Shares of the privately held company will now be owned by a climate-focused trust and a group of nonprofits called the Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective, respectively, the company said in a statement, noting that “every dollar not recovered invested in Patagonia will be paid out as a dividend to protect the planet.”

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The trust will receive all voting shares, which is 2% of the total, and will use it to create “a more permanent legal structure to entrench Patagonia’s purpose and values”. It will be monitored by members of the family and close advisers.

The Holdfast Collective owns all of the non-voting shares of Patagonia, representing 98%.

Patagonia expects to generate and donate approximately $100 million annually, depending on the health of the company. The company now sells new and used outdoor clothing, equipment for outdoor activities such as camping, fishing and climbing, and food and drinks made from sustainable sources.

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As a certified B-Corp and California Benefit Corporation, Patagonia has already donated one percent of its revenue each year to grassroots activists, and it plans to continue to do so. Fewer than 6,000 companies worldwide are certified as B-Corp companies. They must meet strict environmental, social and governance standards and benchmarks set by B Labs to receive certification.

Ryan Gellert will remain as CEO of Patagonia, and the Chouinard family will remain on Patagonia’s board following the clothing maker’s comprehensive philanthropic strategy. After notifying its employees of the move on Wednesday, the company updated its website to say that “earth is now our sole shareholder.”


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