A Patagonia store in Pittsburgh is seen, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. Credit: Gene J. Puskar / AP

At the age of 83, Yvon Chouinard is done being a billionaire.

In fact, the Lisbon, Maine, native never really wanted to be a billionaire in the first place, but he became hugely successful after founding California-based outdoor apparel maker Patagonia in 1973.

Now, Chouinard has donated the company to trust funds and nonprofit organizations in an effort to support the fight against climate change, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Chouinard, his wife and his two adult children transferred their shares in the company — about 2 percent — to the new Patagonia Purpose Trust. The remaining 98 percent of the company was given to the newly created Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit organization with the goal of using the company’s profits to combat climate change.

The donations are valued at approximately $3 billion, according to the New York Times.

Patagonia will remain a private, for-profit company, but Chouinard told the New York Times that his goal is for the profits to be used to preserve wild lands, as well as support grassroots campaigns to combat climate change.

The company has been donating 1 percent of its profits to various grassroots campaigns since adopting the idea in 1985. In 2017, Patagonia joined  a lawsuit against the Trump administration in an effort to preserve Bear’s Ears National Monument in Utah, and has shown support for the Katahdin National Monument in northern Maine.

In a 2017 op-ed published in the Bangor Daily News, Chouinard blasted then-Gov. Paul LePage for his attempt to repeal laws safeguarding the Katahdin National Monument, saying LePage’s stance against protected public lands was “gross negligence.”

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.