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Wednesday 12 June, 2024
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Who is Yvon Chouinard? Billionaire giving away his company for climate causes

BY Waleed Khan Sep 15, 2022. 03:27 pm UPDATED: Sep 15, 2022. 03:27 pm

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The earth is now our only shareholder, Yvon Chouinard said in a letter announcing this decision on September 14.

Patagonia founder and American billionaire Yvon Chouinard has inspired the rest of the globe by donating his $3 billion business to the battle against climate change.

In a letter announcing this choice on September 14, Yvon Chouinard stated, “The earth is now our only shareholder.”

In the letter, Chouinard stated that all of Patagonia’s voting stock would be transferred to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, which was established to safeguard the business’s principles. Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit organisation devoted to addressing the environmental issue, now owns its non-voting stock.

The former rock climber-turned-businessman, who is thought to be worth $1.2 billion, has long supported environmental causes.

Chouinard has claimed he has never desired a career in business. He started off producing climbing equipment for himself and his buddies since he was so passionate about the sport. In 1973, he ventured into the clothing industry and founded Patagonia.

“If we could do the right thing while making enough to pay the bills, we could influence customers and other businesses, and maybe change the system along the way,” Chouinard said.

The company decided it would completely alter the way business was conducted as it observed the effects of global warming and ecological degradation.

Seven years after it was set up, the Patagonia started donating one percent of its annual sales for the environment. In 2001, it made the donations a formal program called “1% for the Planet Scheme”.

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“We’ve awarded over $140 million in cash and in-kind donations to domestic and international grassroots environmental groups making a difference in their local communities,” Patagonia said.

In addition to this, the business supported staff members who contributed to neighbourhood environmental programmes.

Patagonia was one of the first businesses to receive the b-Corp certification, which is a private evaluation of an organization’s “social and environmental performance.”

According to its beliefs, Patagonia amended its mission statement in 2018 to read, “We are in business to conserve our home planet.”

The latest contribution made by the company’s founder sets him apart from other wealthy businessman.

“This (Chouinard) family is a way outlier when you consider that most billionaires give only a tiny fraction of their net worth away every year,” David Callahan, founder of the Inside Philanthropy website, told the New York Times.

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