Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, is donating his business despite having previously declared his opposition to accumulating riches.
A trust and a nonprofit entity will now be in charge of the outdoor clothing business. The business stated on Wednesday that all upcoming revenues will be given to aid in the battle against climate change.
It has been 50 years since we started our experiment in ethical business, according to 84-year-old Chouinard. “It requires all of us to exert our maximum effort with the available resources if we are to have any chance of maintaining a healthy world in 50 years. I’m playing my role as the type of corporate executive I never intended to be.”
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Added he, “Instead of taking value from nature and turning it into profit, Patagonia uses its fortune to safeguard the source. Earth will now be our only stakeholder. I’m really passionate about preserving the environment.”
The Holdfast Collective, a climate change nonprofit, will hold 98% of the company’s nonvoting shares, while the Patagonia Purpose Trust will hold 2% of the voting stock.
In a statement, Chouinard, a board member at the moment, stated that he became aware that his company was a contributor to climate change while working to combat it. He had therefore been debating what to do with the company.
One choice was to sell it and give the proceeds, but Chouinard said he was hesitant in case the new owners wouldn’t share his beliefs or retain the same staff. The other choice was to go public and start trading.
That would have been a catastrophe, he added. Even publicly traded firms with the best of intentions face too much temptation to prioritise short-term profit above long-term vitality and accountability.
The leadership will remain the same, and the firm will continue to donate 1% of its profits to local environmental organisations.