It’s Not Just About Yvon

How we can get every company to be more like Patagonia

This week, The Instigator is coming to you live from the conclusion of Climate Week in New York City. We’ve spent an action-packed few days encouraging corporate leaders to prioritize decarbonization, pushing investors to take longer views and make bigger bets to support bold climate strategies, urging political representatives to get more ambitious on policy, and brainstorming with fellow environmentalists about how best to accelerate progress. We’ll have a lot more to say about this in a future issue. 

But in the meantime, we wanted to highlight the inspiring news we’re pretty sure you did not miss. In case you’ve been living under a rock (or climbing to the top of one) Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard announced he is giving away the company and making the earth its sole shareholder.  Going forward, 100% of Patagonia’s profits will be donated to nonprofits focused on protecting the planet.  

For the rest of us non-rock dwellers, this is already old, albeit remarkable, news. The media has had a field day (pun intended) analyzing why he did it, how he structured it, who benefits, etc.  

But there is one point that I think deserves more attention — the role of Patagonia’s present and future customers. In other words, you

If consumers ever wanted to prove that they will reward good companies for good behavior, this is as good as it gets. Again, 100% of profits will benefit the earth.