Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard announced that he will be giving away his company towards fighting the climate crisis through a new trust and nonprofit. The rock climber who founded the billion dollar empire says that this gesture will work for the benefit of the whole world instead of benefiting a few people through privatization.
“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,” Chouinard said in a statement on Wednesday.
Chouinard, who is now 83 years old, told reporters that he feared that the values of the company would be compromised if sold to another owner. He, therefore, opted to transfer the company valued at about $ 3 billion to the Patagonia Purpose Trust and Holdfast Collective.
“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,” Chouinard said.
The transfer of the company now means that all the profits that are not reinvested back into the business will go to Holdfast Collective and be redirected towards environmental causes. It is estimated that this amount will total about $100 million annually.
Patagonia was founded 50 years ago by Chouinard and has been known for its commitment to planet Earth. While talking to The New York Times, the founder said that he hopes the latest move will inspire other businesses to work for the good of the globe.
“I didn’t know what to do with the company because I didn’t ever want a company,” Chouinard told The Times. “I didn’t want to be a businessman. Now I could die tomorrow and the company is going to continue doing the right thing for the next 50 years, and I don’t have to be around.”
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