Yvonne Chouinard, founder and majority shareholder of the company Patagonia Inc., which specializes in clothing and accessories for outdoor activities, announced that 100% of the company’s shares (valued at about 3,000 million dollars and with about 100 million in annual profits) two legal entities dedicated to the preservation of nature and the ecological values that the company itself has been protecting since its creation in 1973, have been transferred.
Chouinard explained in a letter published on Wednesday, September 14 via the company’s official website that “100% of the company’s voting shares have been transferred to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, created to protect the company’s values; and 100% of non-voting shares were given to the Holdfast Collective, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and protecting nature.
In this way, the 83-year-old Chouinard and his family give up direct ownership of the company, which was established in 1973 and is based in Venture (California, USA). Yvonne Chouinard’s total fortune so far is estimated at $1.2 billion.
Current CEO Ryan Gellert will continue to lead operations and Patagonia Inc., according to information released by the agency. Eph.
The letter, signed verbatim by Chouinard, reads as follows:
“The land is now our only shareholder. If we have any hope of a thriving planet – or at least a thriving business – we’ll all have to do what we can with the resources we have. Here’s what we can do.” “.
“I never wanted to be an entrepreneur. I started as a craftsman, making climbing gear for myself and my friends, then I went to the dressing room. As we began to witness the scope of climate change and environmental destruction—and our contribution to it—Patagonia committed to using our company to change the way business was done if we could do the right thing by generate enough revenue to pay the bills, we could influence customers, influence other businesses and maybe change the system around us. the way.
We started with our products using materials that cause less damage to the environment. We donate 1% of sales every year. We became a Certified B Corp and also a California Benefit Corporation, writing our values into our corporate charter as a way to preserve them. Most recently, in 2018, we changed our company purpose to: “We’re in this business to save our home, planet Earth.”
Although we are doing our best to address the environmental crisis, it is not enough. We need to find a way to put more money into fighting the crisis and at the same time keep the company’s values intact.”
“Honestly, there were no good opportunities. So we created our own.”
“One option was to sell Patagonia and donate all the money. But we couldn’t be sure that the new owner would keep our values or keep our team of people around the world working.
Another time was to take the company public. What a disaster that would be. Even well-intentioned public companies are under too much pressure to generate short-term profits at the expense of long-term viability and responsibility.
To be honest, there were no good options. So we created our own.
Instead of “publishing”, we can say “achieving our goal”. Instead of extracting value from nature and turning it into wealth for some investors, we will use the wealth that Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.
Here’s how it works: 100% of the company’s voting stock is transferred to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, created to protect the company’s values; and 100% of the non-voting shares are given to the Holdfast Collective, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and protecting nature. The funding will come from Patagonia: every year the money we generate after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as a dividend to help fight the crisis.
It’s been almost 50 years since we began our experiment in responsible business, and we’re just getting started. If we have any hope of a thriving planet – or at least a thriving business – 50 years from now, we’ll all have to do what we can with the resources we have. This is another way we have found to fulfill our role.
Despite their vastness, Earth’s resources are not infinite, and it is clear that we have exceeded their limits. But it is also sustainable. We can save our planet if we commit to it.”