Patagonia founder donates his company, ensuring proceeds go to fight climate change

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The founder of outdoor brand Patagonia gave up his ownership in the company and directed its profits to fight climate change.

Yvon Chouinard, who became famous for his alpine climbs in Yosemite National Park and then as an outdoor equipment manufacturer, transferred his family’s ownership of Patagonia to two new entities, one of them a nonprofit that will use annual corporate profits to fight climate change, the company said in a press release Wednesday.

“Instead of extracting value from nature and turning it into wealth, we use the wealth that Patagonia creates to protect the source. We make the Earth our sole shareholder,” Chouinard, 83, said in the Press release.

In a letter to customers, Chouinard said Patagonia is now owned by a trust that will determine the company’s direction and a new nonprofit group called Holdfast Collective, which is dedicated to protecting nature and other environmental causes.

The management of the company has not changed.

“Although we are doing our best to deal with the environmental crisis, it is not enough,” Chouinard wrote in the letter. “…Each year, the money we earn after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as a dividend to help fight the crisis.”

The company plans to contribute approximately $100 million to the Holdfast Collective through an annual dividend based on the companies’ success.

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.

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