Billionaire Yvon Chouinard, the founder of outdoor apparel brand Patagonia, said Wednesday he will transfer the company’s profits to a trust to fight the climate change crisis.
Instead of selling the company or going public, Chouinard, who became famous for alpine climbing in Yosemite National Park and has a net worth of $1.2 billion, is transferring family ownership of the company to trusts and nonprofits. increase.
“Each year, the profits we make from reinvesting in our business are distributed as dividends to fight the crisis.” he wrote in an open letter on the company’s website on Wednesday.
“Instead of extracting value from nature and turning it into investor wealth, we use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.”
Patagonia will continue to operate as a private, for-profit company, but the Chouinard family, who controlled the company until last month, no longer owns it, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Voting shares in the company were transferred to the Patagonia Purpose Trust and non-voting shares were transferred to the Holdfast Collective, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting environmental crises and protecting nature. Trusts are supervised by family members.
Wealthy individuals often contribute financially to causes, but the New York Times notes that the structure of Patagonia’s founder’s actions meant he and his family could not benefit financially. , said it would actually face a tax charge from the donation.