Yvon Chouinard, the billionaire founder of outdoor clothing brand Patagonia, said Wednesday that he is giving the company a credit that will use its profits to fight the climate crisis.
Rather than sell the company or take it public, Chouinard, who became famous for his rock climbing activities in Yosemite National Park and has a net worth of $1.2 billion, is transferring ownership of his company. family to a trust and a nonprofit.
“Each year, the money we earn after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as dividends to help combat the crisis,” he wrote in an open letter on the company’s website Wednesday. .
“Instead of extracting value from nature and turning it into wealth for our investors, we will use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.”
Patagonia will continue to operate as a private for-profit corporation but the Chouinard family, which controlled the company until last month, no longer owns the company, according to the New York Times, which reported on the move. earlier on Wednesday.
The company’s voting shares are being transferred to the Patagonia Purpose Trust while the non-voting shares have been given to the Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and protecting nature. course. The trust will be overseen by family members.
While wealthy individuals often make financial contributions to causes, the New York Times says the Patagonia founder’s structure of action means he and his family will receive no financial benefit – and will in fact face a tax bill from the donation.