Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, has announced the new ownership model of the global outdoor apparel company, giving the entire company to a non-profit, environmental trust that will direct all of the company’s profits into saving the planet.
“Truth be told, there were no good options available. So, we created our own,” Chouinard explained the new business model.
“As of now, Earth is our only shareholder. All profits, in perpetuity, will go to our mission to ‘save our home planet’.”
With the help of his family and lawyers, 83-year-old Chouinard figured out an exceptional way to run the company, which is to remain for-profit. Two per cent of all stock and all decision-making authority will be transferred to a Patagonia Purpose Trust, overseeing the company’s mission and values.
The remaining stock will go to a non-profit called the Holdfast Collective, which “will use every dollar received to fight the environmental crisis, protect nature and biodiversity, and support thriving communities, as quickly as possible”, according to the statement that Patagonia sent out.
By doing this, Patagonia has managed to avoid selling the company or taking it public, which could have meant a change in its core values.
“Instead of going public, you could say we’re going purpose,” Chouinard said. “Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we’ll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.”
Patagonia will remain a profit-making, certified B Corp and a California benefit corporation, and continue to donate 1% of its sales to grassroots environmental groups, as part of the program it started already in the 1980s.
[Photo by Campbell Brewer]
You might also like: