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Patagonia Owner Makes Mother Earth His Only Shareholder

Instead of “going public,” the company is “going purpose.”

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Patagonia Owner Makes Mother Earth His Only Shareholder

Instead of “going public,” the company is “going purpose.”

Yvon Chouinard, the 83-year-old reluctant billionaire and founder of sportswear and outdoor brand Patagonia, takes his lifelong love for the environment a step further by giving all his company’s shares, worth $3 billion USD, to our planet.

Rather than selling or taking the company public, The Chouinard family is transferring all ownership to two net entities: the Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective, which distribute all funds that do not go back into Patagonia, around $100 million USD a year, as dividends to combat climate change and protect biodiversity.

“Hopefully, this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people,” said Chouinard in an exclusive interview with The New York Times. “We are going to give away the maximum amount of money to people who are actively working on saving this planet.”

Making the ultimate vow to preserve the planet, the trust, which is overseen by family members and their closest advisors, ensures that Patagonia commits to running a socially responsible business that makes “capitalism work for the planet.”

“Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth, we are using the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source,” Chouinard added in his statement, “We’re making Earth our only shareholder.”

Watch this space for further updates and whether more businesses pursue Patagonia’s leading example.

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