You know, it’s funny how much we talk about extinction and still somehow hope it’s purely a matter of fiction. All the doomsday movies, sci-fi books depicting dystopian scenarios, constant news of record-breaking weather events, war, disease, famine. And yet, we go to sleep thinking that life will go on.
We need to change to stop the change that is now upon us. Some of us are going vegan or trying to reduce our waste production, while some millionaires are chilling in their private jets to buy some organic coconut-almond milk.
The disconnect exists between those who have little and those who can actually make a difference, but one company has stepped up and set an example that hasn’t been seen before. Patagonia announced Wednesday that its sole shareholder will now be the Earth itself. What does it mean and what does it mean? Let’s dive in and see.
More information: Patagonia
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard announced in a recent press release that the company will have one shareholder going forward – the Earth itself.
Image credit: Patagonia
“If we have any hope of a thriving planet – much less business – it requires all of us to do what we can with our resources. This is what we can do,” he wrote. Yvonne ChouinardAn American rock climber, environmentalist, philanthropist and founder Patagonia. I News for the newspaper Posted on Wednesday, September 14, it announced that one of the company’s shareholders will be moving on—the land itself.
Given the extent of global warming and their contribution to environmental destruction, Patagonia is committed to changing the pattern. “If we can do the right thing while earning enough to pay the bills, we can impact consumers and other businesses, and maybe change the system along the way,” the press release said. “
Image credit: Patagonia
However, it seems that this is not enough: “While we are doing our best to fight the environmental crisis, it is not enough. We need to invest more money to fight the crisis while maintaining the values of the company. Need to find a way.
Still, he acknowledged that his options were limited. They could sell Patagonia and donate the proceeds, but then they wouldn’t be able to assure the company’s future direction or values. Another option they considered was going public, but that would create too much pressure to generate short-term profit for shareholders at the expense of long-term liability.
Realizing the extent of global warming and their contribution to environmental destruction, Patagonia became determined to change the pattern.
Image credit: Travpacker.com (not original image)
“Truth be told, there weren’t any good options available. So, we made our own,” Yvonne said. Instead of ‘going public’, you could say we are ‘going to the target.’ Instead of extracting value from nature and turning it into wealth for investors, we will use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.
So what does this really mean? 100% of the company’s voting stock (shares that entitle the stockholder to vote on corporate policy-making matters) will be transferred to a Patagonia Purpose Trust created to protect the company’s values. Then 100% of the non-voting stock (stock that gives the shareholder little or no vote on corporate matters) will be given to the Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature.
Voting stock makes up 2% of Patagonia’s total stock, with non-voting stock sitting at about 98%.
From using environmentally friendly materials to donating 1% of annual sales, they have transformed the company’s mission to save the planet.
Image credit: Nicholas Bolosa (not original photo)
Every year, the profits Patagonia makes after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as dividends to help fight the crisis. “If we have any hope of a thriving planet 50 years from now—much less a thriving business—it requires all of us to do what we can with our resources,” the press release said. Is.” “This is another way we’ve found to do our part.”
Yvonne admits he “never wanted to be a businessman”, but, as an avid mountaineer, he wanted to make mountaineering gear for himself and his friends before getting into apparel. Patagonia eventually became a very successful sportswear brand with a cult following.
“While we are doing our best to address the climate crisis, it is not enough,” Yvonne said. Thus, they redistributed the entire stock between the two entities.
Image credit: Backbone campaign (not original photo)
Founded in 1973, Patagonia had sales of about $1.5 billion that year, while Yvonne’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion. Yet Yvonne shivers in disgust at the numbers. “I was listed as a billionaire in Forbes magazine, which really pissed me off,” he said, as reported. Guardian. I don’t have $1Bn in the bank. I don’t drive Lexus.
Yvonne is not the first billionaire. Take a step to save the earth.. Microsoft founder Bill Gates vowed to “drop” off the world’s rich list this year by donating $20 billion to his philanthropic fund. Last year, the boss of Hit Group, which owns a range of online beauty and nutrition brands, donated £100M to a charitable foundation after becoming a billionaire when his firm listed.
2% of the voting stock will go to the Patagonia Purpose Trust to protect the company’s values and 98% of the non-voting stock will be held by Fast Collective.
Image credit: Ajay_Suresh (not original photo)
Still, many would agree that much can be done by those with much more ability, and yet implementation seems difficult because values continue to clash. Charles ConnPatagonia’s board chair, noted that some side with Milton Friedman’s approach, stating that the sole responsibility of any business is to generate profits for shareholders, while others believe that companies should serve society and There are wider responsibilities to the environment.
The world is literally on fire, and Charles believes that Patagonia’s move is not an example of “awakened capitalism,” but “the future of business, if we want to create a better world for our children and all other creatures.” are.”
“If we have any hope of a thriving planet – much less business, it requires all of us doing what we can with our resources,” Yvonne said.
Image credit: Dave Dugdale (not original photo)
While companies may worry about pleasing shareholders, many should consider their long-term goals, as purpose-led companies attract more investment, better employees, and deeper customer loyalty. will do It will be interesting to see how this new paradigm in environmental corporate leadership changes the business playing field in the near future.
“Earth’s resources are not infinite, and it is clear that we have exceeded its limits. But it is also resilient. We can save our planet if we act on it.” Let us know your thoughts on this initiative. Do you believe it will set a good example for other businesses? Or do you think it is too little? Also, don’t forget to vote for more interesting content and follow the author to show your support!
People are appreciating the move and hope it sets a much-needed precedent for other businesses. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!