Yvon Chounard, founder of the mountaineering clothing brand Patagonia, has handed over the company to a non-profit organization tasked with fighting climate change. The measure has been applauded by US philanthropic sectors.
Billionaire founder of outdoor clothing brand Patagonia Yvon Chounard, famous for his alpine climbs in Yosemite National Park, has turned the company over to a trust that will use his profits to combat the climate crisis.
An article in The New York Times said that Chounard, 83, who has a net worth of $1.2 billion, would have sold or publicized the brand, valued at $3 billion, to a non-profit organization focused on the combating climate change and protecting and conserving nature.
The outlet said the businessman’s wife and son agreed to transfer all of Patagonia’s voting shares or shares that grant voting rights to the trust. Company profits will also be donated to non-profit organizations.
In an open letter posted on Patagonia’s website, Chouinard said that, with this action, “The Earth is now our sole shareholder.” The billionaire said that he wants companies like his to change schemes based on the impact they cause on the environment.
“I never wanted to be a rich businessman. I started as a craftsman, making climbing equipment for myself and my friends, and then I dedicated myself to clothing. As we begin to witness the extent of global warming and ecological destruction, and our own contribution, Patagonia is committed to using our company to change the way business is done,” he said.
The Patagonia brand, known for supporting environmental causes, has been manufacturing clothing for adventurers since 1979. Generally, the garments –including pants, vests and jackets– are designed for mountaineering. However, it is also possible to see them on the streets of the main cities of the country and in other parts of the world.
The issue of climate change has been handled on the agendas of several countries. Billionaires like Bill Gates have carried out projects to help solve the crisis in the environment.
In addition to this, in states like California, measures have been taken to ban the use of cars that work with fossil fuels by 2035. Other states like Washington and Massachusetts would also join the measure.