A billionaire sold his company, but not to fund conservative politics. Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard sold the company to fight climate change and save the land.
The company, worth $3 billion, will also donate all profits to the same causes. That may be an additional $100 million a year.
Yvon Chouinard, his wife, and their two children agreed to transfer all of Patagonia's voting shares to a trust to ensure environmental values are respected.
"Earth is now our only shareholder," Chouinard wrote in an open letter posted to Patagonia's website.
Patagonia, founded approximately 50 years ago, soon became committed to saving nature by carefully sourcing raw materials and donating 1% of sales to environmental NGOs.
One option was to sell Patagonia and donate the money. "But we couldn't be sure a new owner would uphold our values or keep our team employed," he stated in a letter.
He said, "What a disaster!" "Public companies with good intentions are under too much pressure to achieve short-term profits at the expense of long-term vitality and accountability."
The company now sells new and used outdoor wear, camping and fishing equipment, plus food and beverages manufactured from sustainable sources.
In the 1980s, the company began contributing 1% of its sales to environmental Groups. According to the company, the campaign raised $140m for environmental preservation and rehabilitation.