Practicing what he preaches, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard donates the entire $3 billion of his apparel company’s valuation to fight climate change.
As staunch an activist as you could find, Chouinard was “really pissed off” to see himself in a business news article as being valued as a billionaire, so his response was to announce that all profits in perpetuity shall go to the Patagonia Purpose Trust for helping prevent environmental disaster.
“I never wanted to be a businessman,” Chouinard wrote. “I started as a craftsman, making climbing gear for my friends and myself, then got into apparel.”
At 83, Chouinard worked with a team of lawyers alongside his family to create a model that would allow the company to continue to operate as a for-profit enterprise, but that would also act as a fundraising engine on the environment’s behalf.
2% of the family’s stock will fund an effort to ensure the company remains committed to Chouinard’s values, while the other 98% will go to projects that protect habitat and biodiversity, and fight the environmental crisis.
Patagonia has long been known as a company that does everything it can to support the environment, such as donating 1% of profits every year since 2001, amounting to $140 million, to projects that protect and restore vulnerable ecosystems, or even opening a regenerative ag-based brewery that uses a perennial grain called Kernza instead of wheat to make beer.
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