Patagonia are going Purpose
Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, broke the internet when he announced that he was donating the $3 billion company to fight climate change.
Patagonia has long been a company that puts their money where their mouth is, so this move isn’t out of character. It is, however, nothing that has been done before, although Chouinard hopes it will inspire other billionaires and corporations.
Rather than selling the company or taking it public, Yvon Chouinard, his wife and two adult children have transferred their ownership of Patagonia, valued at $3 billion, to a specially designed trust and a nonprofit organization, which will ensure that all of its profits are used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe.
“Instead of ‘going public’, you could say we’re ‘going purpose’,” said Chouinard.
The Chouinards donated 98% of the company, all its non-voting stock, to the new Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit organization which will use the funds to combat climate change.
The remaining 2%, and all the company’s voting stock, was transferred into a newly established entity known as the Patagonia Purpose Trust. The trust, which will be overseen by members of the family and their closest advisers, and is intended to ensure that Patagonia makes good on its commitment to run a socially responsible business and give away its profits.
Because the Chouinards donated their shares to a trust, the family will pay about $17.5 million in taxes on the gift.
“If we have any hope of a thriving planet – much less a thriving business – 50 years from now, it is going to take all of us doing what we can with the resources we have,” said Chouinard in a statement. “This is another way we’ve found to do our part.”
“As of now, Earth is our only shareholder”