Yvon Chouinard, the billionaire founder of the outdoor fashion retailer Patagonia, announced Wednesday that he has given away his company to a charitable trust.

Under a new ownership structure, any profit not reinvested in running the business would go to fighting climate change. This will amount to around $100m a year, he claimed.

“Despite its immensity, the Earth’s resources are not infinite, and it’s clear we’ve exceeded its limits,” the entrepreneur said of his decision. “Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth, we are using the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source.”

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The Chouinard family transferred all ownership to two new entities. The Patagonia Purpose Trust, led by the family, remains the company’s controlling shareholder. However, it will own only 2% of its total stock. The trust will guide the philanthropy of the Holdfast Collective, a US charity “dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis” which now owns all of the non-voting stock – some 98% of the company.

“Each year the money we make after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as a dividend to help fight the crisis,” Chouinard said.

Chouinard has written about climbing issues and ethics and on mixing environmentalism and business. He committed his company to be an important resource for environmental activism.

In 1984, Patagonia opened an on-site cafeteria offering “healthy, mostly vegetarian food,” and started providing on-site child care.

In 1986, Chouinard committed the company to “tithing” for environmental activism, committing one percent of sales or ten percent of profits, whichever is the greater.

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This included paying employees working on local environmental projects so they could commit their efforts full-time.

In the early 1990s, an environmental audit of Patagonia revealed that corporate cotton, although it was a natural material, had a heavy environmental footprint. In 1996, Chouinard committed the company to using all organic cotton.

In 2002, Yvon Chouinard founded 1% for the Planet and Patagonia became the first business to commit 1% of annual sales to the environment.

In 2014, Patagonia supported the advocacy documentary film DamNation, which is about changing attitudes in America towards its dams.