Patagonia, all the profits of the brand to save the planet. The announcement of the founder Chouinard: “The Earth is now our only shareholder”

“We have just donated our company to planet Earth. Now our only shareholder is the Planet“. With these words Yvon Chouinardthe founder of Patagonia, US brand specializing in sportswear, has announced that it has sold the company to a non-profit organization created by itself and to a fund created ad hoc so that all the company’s earnings, from now on, are concretely invested in fight against climate change. Definitely a courageous decision, undoubtedly avant-garde and absolutely generous. A true act of love for our planet that can be translated into practical actions aimed at trying to stem a drift, that of the climate, which is already demonstrating its destructive significance. “Hopefully this affects one new form of capitalism that it doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people, ”Chouinard explained in an interview with New York Times. The 83-year-old man aims to guarantee “the maximum amount of money to the people who are actively working to save the planet”. All the profits of Patagonia (evaluated 3 billion dollars), therefore, will contribute to the fight against the climate change.

The unusual move comes at a time of growing pressure on billionaires and corporations, whose pro-world rhetoric is often overshadowed by their contributions to the problems they claim they want to solve. “We hope this affects a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end with a few rich and a lot of poor, we are giving the maximum amount of money to people who are actively working to save this planet,” Chouinard explained. Specifically, the 98% of the shares was transferred to Holdfast Collective, nonprofit organization; the rest 2% al Patagonia Purpose Trust, which will be managed by family members to check that all profits are actually used to save the environment. For this donation Chouinard paid over seventeen million in taxes.

Patagonia has always distinguished itself for being a company attentive to protecting the environment, classifying itself as benefit corporation. “We became a certified B Corp and Benefit Corporation in California by writing our values ​​in the bylaws to preserve them,” the owner explains on the company’s website. In 2018 the change of pace arrived: “We changed our corporate purpose to: ‘we are in business to save our planet'”.

Not only profit maximization, therefore, but also an attempt to contribute to the protection of the environment understood as common good. “I never wanted to be a business man“, Chouinard cut short. “I started out as a craftsman, producing climbing equipment for me and my friends, and then dedicating myself to technical clothing”. The reason behind the decision was the discovery of theecological footprint that even Patagonia was leaving behind: “Since we began to touch the damage of global warming and ecological destruction, in Patagonia we have committed ourselves to concretely change the way we think and do business”, concludes Chouinard.

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