The billionaire Patagonian owner has given his company to a non-profit environmental protection fund.
The company will continue to produce outerwear, camping supplies and other goods, but now all profits will go to organizations to combat the climate crisis.
“I never wanted to be an entrepreneur,” Yvonne Chouinard, the company’s founder and reluctant billionaire, said when announcing the decision.
“I started out as a craftsman, making climbing gear for my friends and myself, and then dressed up.
“When we started seeing the extent of global warming and environmental devastation, and our contribution to it, Patagonia committed to using our company to change the way business is done. If we can do the right thing while offering enough to pay the bills, we can influence customers and other businesses, and potentially change the system along The Road “.
Previously, Patagonia set aside 1% of sales each year, and 2018 changed the company’s business, saying, “We’re working to save our planet.”
But now, Mr Chouinard said, that was “not enough”.
The company’s voting stock will go to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, which will “protect the company’s values.” The non-voting stock will go to Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit organization that will use the company’s profits each year for environmental work.
When he decided what to do with the company, Chouinard said selling the company and donating the profits, or going public with the stock, wouldn’t guarantee Patagonia would continue its activist role.
In recent years, the company has become more vocal on climate issues.
In 2018, Patagonia said it would donate all money earned from President Trump’s tax cuts to environmental causes.
A year ago, in 2017, she joined a lawsuit to prevent the federal government from cutting back the effects of Beers’ Ears and Grand Stirkis Escalante in Utah.
Mr. Chouinard has always been uncomfortable with the massive personal wealth his successful company has brought.
He told the New York Times, “I was at Forbes listed as a billionaire, which really pissed me off.
“I don’t have a billion dollars in the bank. I don’t drive a Lexus.”
When deciding what to do next, even his children didn’t want to take over the company.
“They felt really bad about it,” the company’s CEO Ryan Gilert told The New York Times. “I know it might sound gaunt, but they really exemplify this idea that every billionaire is a failure in politics.”
Now all the money from the company will be directed directly to “Combating the Environmental Crisis and Defending Nature”.
“It has been nearly 50 years since we started our Responsible Business Experience, and we are just getting started,” Mr. Chouinard wrote.
“If we have any hope of a thriving planet—not to mention a thriving business—50 years from now, it will require all of us to do the best we can with the resources we have. This is another way we’ve found to do our part.”
“Earth’s resources, though huge, are not infinite, and we are clearly beyond their limits. But they are also resilient. We can save our planet if we stick to them.”