Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard gives away company to combat climate change

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 29: A sign hangs in front of a Patagonia store on October 29, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Patagonia announced it is stopping all paid advertising on Facebook Inc. platforms following a series of negative stories about the s

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard shocked the business world Wednesday when he announced that he would give away the multi-billion dollar outdoor clothing retail company to fight climate change. 

Chouinard said on the company's website he will put 100% of the company’s voting stock into the Patagonia Purpose Trust, which would help protect the company's values. 

Furthermore, 100% of the nonvoting stock was given to the Holdfast Collective, a non-profit advocacy group. Chouinard said the funding will come from Patagonia. He said every year, the money made after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as a dividend to help fight climate change. 

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"Truth be told, there were no good options available," the founder said on the website. "So, we created our own."


NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: Yvon Chouinard speaks onstage during the Atlantic Salmon Federation New York Gala at the Plaza on November 13, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

'As we began to witness the extent of global warming and ecological destruction, and our own contribution to it, Patagonia committed to using our company to change the way business was done," he continued. 

'Despite its immensity, the Earth’s resources are not infinite, and it’s clear we’ve exceeded its limits. But it’s also resilient. We can save our planet if we commit to it," he added. 

Chouinard this would not make the company a non-profit. Ryan Gellert will continue to be the company's CEO.

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Last month, President Joe Biden signed Democrats’ landmark climate change and health care bill into law.

The legislation includes the most substantial federal investment in history to fight climate change — some $375 billion over the decade — and would cap prescription drug costs at $2,000 out-of-pocket annually for Medicare recipients. It also would help an estimated 13 million Americans pay for health care insurance by extending subsidies provided during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill will direct spending, tax credits and loans to bolster technology like solar panels, consumer efforts to improve home energy efficiency, emission-reducing equipment for coal- and gas-powered power plants, and air pollution controls for farms, ports and low-income communities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.